Sunday, November 28, 2021

US Marines-built hall gets the boot

Titahi Bay’s Marines Hall is set to be demolished in the coming weeks, after Porirua City Council satisfied resource consent conditions to do so.

A contract has been signed with Quality Demolition, who have already started investigative works and will carry out the demolition.

The building, constructed by US Marines based at a nearby camp in 1942, has been unused since 2012, when it was deemed structurally unsafe and unsanitary. The Council voted in 2014 to demolish it.

Quality Demolition contracts manager, Simon Miller says while it will be sad to see the building coming down, he’s excited to be involved in the next phase of the site.

“I was brought up in the Bay and can remember the Marines Hall as a picture theatre back in the day and then later on there were plays, where you could take a chilly bin and some food in – it was great,” he said.

“But life goes on and I think what’s planned will be really good for the area.”

Quality Demolition will salvage and recycle as much material as they can from the former Marines Hall for future use.

Porirua Parks and City Services Operations Manager, Mark Hammond says the Council has been through a thorough process to get to this point.

“We consulted with the community at many different stages along the way, including last year over what should be on this spot once the building is gone,” he said.

“We’ve now met the requirements of the resouce consent, so the next phase can get under way and we’re one step closer to having a commemorative space that the Titahi Bay, and Porirua, community can take pride in.

“We will soon have an updated design plan to share and hope to get started on the cleared site in the new year.”

Plans include different seating areas, shade, more vegetation and multiple features that reflect the heritage of the hall. Ngāti Toa and an independent archaeologist have been engaged as part of the project.

A new modern toilet block will also be put in, on the same spot as the current block, Mr Hammond said.

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