Concept drawings for a new multi-million dollar sport, recreation and pool complex in Christchurch have been published in a boost to the city's quake-hit eastern suburbs.
The rebuilt QEII Recreation and Sport Centre will house a hydroslide, water adventure playground, leisure pools, spa, sauna and fitness centre. Construction will start in October and finish in 2018, with the Christchurch City Council currently asking three contractors for quotes.
The Warren and Mahoney design uses 4737 square metres of QEII Park in Burwood, a surburb which suffered heavily in the quakes. The old centre on the site, which was built in 1973 to host the Commonwealth Games, was recently demolished having been hit by irreparable earthquake damage.
The final cost isn't known but $37 million is available for the project, including $30.5 million set aside by the council and $6.5 million donated by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.
Burwood Pegasus Community Board chair Andrea Cummings said the announcement followed "extensive community engagement".
"Locals of all ages had a say, and the design process has pulled everything together and made the vision a reality. It's going to be awesome, and it's a big collaborative effort that got us there."
It comes after one of the council's hearing panels recommended the sale of 11.5 hectares of QEII Park to the Ministry of Education. The land would be used to relocate Avonside Girls' High School and Shirley Boys' High School, giving them prime access to the pools and sports facilities.
Councillor David East was delighted with the news, saying everything is "starting to come together"
"QEII Park will be buzzing with activity again, just like it was pre-quake, and as a community hub it will return a much-needed focal point to northeast Christchurch."
Councillor Glenn Livingstone claimed the project would give the community "confidence".