Potential new tenants for Central Stories building found
A preferred applicant to make use of the former i-SITE area within the Central Stories building has been announced.
A joint proposal from Otago Polytechnic (Central Campus), Central Otago REAP and Alexandra Community House to create a community learning hub has been selected as Council’s preferred proposal for the former i-SITE area within the central Alexandra building.
The Central Otago District Council went out for expressions of interest for the future use of the area from mid-August to mid-September.
The three groups wish to create a facilitated Community Learning Hub, with three key functions:
- expand community education and introduce tertiary education into the Alexandra community;
- focus on post-COVID recovery training and reskilling;
- include an inviting lounge area to support other local activity and be a meeting place to increase the vibrancy and public appeal.
Their vision is to create a staffed ‘digital teaching space’ that supports learners to engage with digital education. A suite of 12-15 desktop computers and printers would be housed along with a lounge area for more relaxed style engagement.
Council Chief Executive Sanchia Jacobs said “all three groups share common values related to the community and education and this fits well with the present tenants of the Central Stories building, enriching the space as a place of learning, arts and culture”.
“Siting this new community learning hub right across the road from Alexandra Community House also creates an exciting dynamic and potential for an ‘educational and community precinct’ to evolve.”
Central Otago REAP Manager Bernice Lepper is excited about the opportunity to establish an educational community hub in Alexandra at Central Stories.
“This will complement the courses REAP offers and also give Otago Polytechnic a home in Alexandra to offer their online courses.
“The close proximity to Alexandra Community House provides an extension and more relaxed environment for meetings and programmes to occur when the House is full. Working with Central Stories staff we can see numerous possibilities for education opportunities in the future.”
Council staff will work with the joint venture group to progress the concept to a tenancy within the coming months.