St John's Hall was damaged during the 2013 earthquakes, and was showing signs of further stress from the recent quakes in November 2016. For reasons of public safety, we have decided to bring forward the demolition.
Although we have brought forward the timing of the demolition we will not proceed with the sale until the town redevelopment plan has been finalised.
Before demolition can take place, some items of merit are to be salvaged and all asbestos is to be removed. Specialised removal of these has led to a longer than originally envisaged demolition programme.
Wellington City Council purchased the St John’s site from the Methodist Church of New Zealand in February 2000 as part of the Karori Town Centre upgrade project.
The site then comprised of St John’s, the Lighthouse Centre, an old wooden community hall, opportunity shop and garage (these last three occupied the land that now forms part of the Accessway).
St John’s Hall was used as a temporary solution to provide suitable storage while the library was built. With the co-location of the new library, community centre and the recreation centre, the Council resolved to retain St John’s for the interim in 2007, and for it to be managed through the Karori Community Centre. This was seen as a temporary arrangement to allow time to assess the communities’ interest in building a new hall (event centre).
In June 2012, the Council agreed in the 2011/12 Annual Plan to explore divestment opportunities and agreed the proceeds from the sale would be made available to assist with the Karori Event Centre build. It was also acknowledged that divestment needed to align with the planning for the Town Centre upgrade.
The Karori Community Centre integrated the management of the St John's hall into the community centre space to ensure a joined up approach to use as community space. Construction of the Karori Events Centre began in November 2016 and is expected to be completed late 2017.
For the location of the Earthquake Recovery Information Centre and other important earthquake recovery information see the Earthquake Recovery Map.