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Rolleston development gathering pace

Rolleston development gathering pace
The $22 million Te Ara Atea library and community centre is now under construction.

Selwyn District Council is currently completing major capital projects as a response to the ever-increasing demand from its ever growing community and ensuring Selwyn residents have the facilities they need to live a quality lifestyle. Works continue this year at Rolleston’s massive 34ha Foster Park, which has been under development since 2014.

Selwyn District Council major projects property manager John Reid says the master plan for its development has changed since it was approved in 2013, due to demand and population growth.

“At the time it was thought to be a 10 to 12 year project, but we’ve brought that programme forward and all of Foster Park’s infrastructure will be completed in 2021.”Changes to the master plan occurred due to the need to grow Rolleston’s town centre.

The rugby and softball clubs relocated from their home at Rolleston Reserve on Tennyson Street to Foster Park, making way for the now under construction $22 million Te Ara Atea library and community centre, retail precinct, and amenity reserve. “Moving those activities to Foster Park has compelled us to develop the park a bit quicker.”

Recently completed construction at Foster Park is a new changing rooms and toilet block to service the south-western playing fields. A second set of changing rooms at the area of the park used by, is now underway as part of the $21.5 million build of a new indoor stadium.

Mainly to serve the football, hockey, and cricket players, these facilities can also be used by the indoor stadium as overflow during large events.The indoor stadium has changed in scope since the master plan, when a two to four court complex was planned.

“We’re now building an eight court complex,” John says. “That really allows us to build a facility that’s future-proofed in terms of population growth, but also multi-purpose with two different floor types.”

Four courts on one side of the building are floored with the traditional high quality sprung timber flooring, while the four courts on the other side of the building have a more robust, poured rubber polyurethane floor.

“We can use these not just for indoor sport, but also for community activities, markets, exhibitions, and events. “It’s a very robust floor, good enough for sport to be played on, but robust enough to take a lot of activity, so the community has this multi-purpose space.”

Across the road at the five-year-old Selwyn Aquatic Centre, work is underway on a $14 million project to add a second 25m pool, giving more flexibility around providing for lane swimmers and recreational swimmers. John says before Selwyn Aquatic Centre was built, there was an enormous amount of public consultation and a lot of opposition in terms of the effect it would have on local rates.

“The councillors at the time made a very courageous decision to build it. Now we find that we can’t manage the demand.” The centre currently includes one 25m pool, a recreation pool, a therapy pool, and a learn to swim pool.

The learn to swim programme has been immensely popular and greatly exceeded projections. “Although at times difficult to manage, enormous demand is a really good thing,” John says. “It shows the community values the facility and the services it provides.”

These large capital build projects all happening at once are a response from Selwyn District Council to the demand from the community. “Council knows if we want people to have a quality lifestyle in Selwyn, we need to provide these things and we need to build them big enough to service the demand,” John says.

“A lot of the smaller facilities and community facilities we’ve built recently in Selwyn’s smaller towns are servicing those areas, whereas these very large capital projects in Rolleston are regional in nature. Rolleston and Selwyn in general is becoming a great place to live.”

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