Redevelopment Project Provides Jobs

YMCA Christchurch’s shovel ready project is generating 219 jobs. The project involves the redevelopment of YMCA’s centrally located city site.

The first stage of the YMCA Christchurch’s central city site redevelopment is set to begin this week after being allocated $43 million of shovel-ready funding for the project. Located in the heart of Christchurch city, the redevelopment project will provide much needed respite for workers amidst the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

A total of 219 jobs will be generated by the project throughout its two stages. These jobs will be created at various points throughout the construction programme, the majority of which will go to the construction industry.

Dominion Constructors Ltd (DCL) have been contracted for Stage One of the redevelopment.

DCL Commercial Manager, Simon Shaw, said that receiving shovel-ready funding has ensured the project has been able to proceed. “This has allowed DCL to continue to offer employment to current staff at a time when COVID has significantly impacted the New Zealand construction market.”

DCL was also part of a number of North Island Shovel Ready proposals, but at present, only the YMCA submission was successful in receiving the Government’s Shovel Ready funding. “Dominion are proud to be playing a part in creating facilities which will leave a lasting legacy for the support of Christchurch youth development, social responsibility and unlocking Christchurch future leader’s potential. It’s also worth noting the new Stage Two facility will become a landmark building in the centre of Christchurch for years to come.”

The initial stage of the site development entails the refurbishment of the YMCA’s accommodation which will be refitted and modernised for future use.

Stage Two is the development of a new building which will house a licensed preschool, a 200-seat black-box community theatre, health and wellbeing spaces, education facilities for young people, dance and movement studios, office space for other youth-NGOs, and a range of support tenants including hospitality, general media practice and physiotherapy.

YMCA CEO Josie Ogden Schroeder believes this space has the potential to bring youth and youth services back into Christchurch’s inner city. “The current atmosphere of change in the CBD provides unparalleled opportunities for new ventures and business opportunities. As the YMCA’s ethos is one of social enterprise, front of mind throughout the master plan process has been the desire to ultimately create something which has a positive social impact on the community it serves.”

Ogden Schroeder said she is pleased that the YMCA’s impact has been recognized by the government. “It is really great that our value has been acknowledged in this way and the Government has decided to invest in an organisation that has been ‘giving back’ to the community for 158 years already. This project will enable us to bring our facilities into the 21st century, and thereby maximise the impact we can generate for young people now and for many generations into the future.”

The entire project is scheduled to be completed in October 2022.

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