Wednesday 25 October 2017
Public consultation on the future of Hamilton’s Founders Theatre opens today.
Owned and operated by Hamilton City Council, the theatre was closed in February 2016 due to safety concerns relating to its aging flying system for hoisting scenery and lighting. A subsequent Detailed Seismic Assessment revealed the building is earthquake prone.
Sean Murray, Hamilton City Council’s General Manager for Venues and Major Events, says the theatre is a significant and iconic city asset and the public’s views on what should be done are important to the Council.
“For many Hamiltonians, there is a strong sense of attachment to Founders – but the reality is the building needs a lot of work and investment to be brought back up to standard,” Mr Murray says.
The Council is asking the public for comments on three specific options relating to the theatre:
- Demolition of the building and returning it to green space.
- Partial demolition of the building and repurposing it for other uses.
- Reinstate the building for community use as a “town hall” type venue, albeit with some modifications.
The public consultation runs through until 26 November, and respondents can provide comment through an online portal which can be accessed from hamilton.govt.nz/founders. Physical submission forms will also be available at Hamilton City Libraries branches, Hamilton Pools facilities (Waterworld and Gallagher Aquatic Centre) and Creative Waikato.
“Once the consultation period has closed, the comments will be compiled and analysed, and inform a staff report to Council in December,” Mr Murray says.
The public consultation process runs parallel to two other projects relating to Hamilton’s theatres – the ongoing development and planning for a Waikato Regional Theatre and led by Momentum Waikato, and the Expressions of Interest process through which community groups can signal any plans they may to make use of Founders.
To be taken to the consultation page click here.