Community Centre Rebuild

Hall Rebuild Commences 12 June 2024

Stage 1 of the Hall Rebuild commences on 12 June 2024. St James Community Hall will not be available for public use from Wednesday 12 June to Sunday 25 August. We will not be taking new bookings for the use of the hall or the church during this period.

We have contacted our regular hall users and are making arrangements for their activities during this period.

We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause to our community and the public. This work is thankfully beginning sooner than expected. However, once this redevelopment is complete, it will be more user-friendly and an asset to the community.

Support the St James' Community Centre Rebuild

Donations are sought for Stage Two of this vital community project via the St James Lower Hutt Anglican Parish Trust Board, account 02-0528-0492904-00
Ref: (Surname) Hall Upgrade

All donations over $5 are eligible for a tax rebate by completing this form.

Further information is available from the Parish Office (04) 569 6737 extn 802 or by email

Thank you to all our donors for your support of the St James’ Community Centre Rebuild


Our Vision for the St James Community Centre Rebuild Project:

  • To reinvigorate a significant parish and community asset for the betterment of our parish, our parishioners and the community.
  • To bring life, laughter and connection to our community through flexible and fit for purpose facilities.
  • To have a central hub which can
    • Meet the needs of our youth and elderly, and
    • Serve our diverse community in times of celebration and success, learning, grief, need and civil emergency.

Community Hub

The St James’ Community Centre has been a hub at the heart of the
Lower Hutt community since it was built in the late 1960s and is part of the Lower Hutt Civic Heritage Precinct. The Centre is widely used by a variety of Hutt-based community groups.

While the facility is currently well-used, the building is dated with the kitchen area, bathrooms, fire egress and earthquake ratings no longer up to current building standards. There are accessibility issues, particularly to the second storey, and the building lacks multiple access options limiting hall use potential.

Regular users include: dance, multicultural, youth and disability groups with great potential identified for weddings and other family and cultural celebrations as well as business meetings.

Progress Update

In the time we have been working on the project to upgrade the Centre, we have:

  • Had initial concept plans drawn up;
  • Obtained a significant number of community Letters of Support, including from the Hutt City Council;
  • Obtained a Lotteries Commission Feasibility Study grant;
  • Obtained an independent Feasibility Study from Impact Consulting which concluded that the project is achievable both operationally and from a capital investment perspective, with strong community funding support.
  • Re-thought our plans in the light of the Feasibility Study, as we thought the estimated project’s cost was too high to achieve an early result. An updated plan is below, which removes the little used upper floor hall, and builds, as a second stage, a smaller second hall adjacent to the existing hall.
  • Sourced over $500k to date, of funding from donations, fund-raising and parish Trust Board commitments.
  • In addition, we have been very fortunate to have secured $100,000 of additional funding from the TG Macarthy Trust. This funding will allow Stage One of the plans (removal of first floor, re-roofing, kitchen upgrade, accessibility, a new toilet block as well as tea-making and toilet facilities for a separate meeting room) to commence as soon as Heritage and Resource consents have been achieved. We have been assured there will be no difficulty obtaining the necessary Consents.

Revised Plan

Advantages of the New Plan

  • Much cheaper due to significantly reduced expected strengthening costs.
  • More flexible, in that we can
    • hold larger functions than previously, by opening up the two adjacent halls
    • hold three separate functions at once with individual access to both the function room and toilets and at least tea-making facilities for each
    • make the outside area more versatile with a covered veranda adjacent to the second hall.
  • Faster to raise the required funds, so the timing risk (which involves potentially additional cost if building industry costs rise again, and also people risk as the project team get older) is mitigated.
  • Addresses the non-compliant aspects of our hall (required strengthening, accessibility, health and safety) sooner – especially the kitchen and toilets.
  • Gives us additional flexibility by allowing a two-staged approach. We already have the funds and church approvals to complete Stage One.
  • In addition, we have included showers into the design, with a view to being able to use the facility as an Emergency Accommodation hub for civil emergencies, should the need arise. We have the support of the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office in this.