Beryl Willis was “heartbroken” when she thought that her beloved Tahunanui Community Centre would be closed down.
The 84-year-old had been attending “fit and fun” classes at the centre for the past three years and knew how important it was to everyone who took part.
“It felt like I had lost an arm,” she said.
The centre was closed shortly before Christmas when its perilous financial position was revealed.
But on Monday it opened back up after the Nelson City Council stepped in to allow its contractor CLM to administer its running.
Brenda Preece, who runs the fit and fun classes, says that it is a relief as it offers an important venue for socialising and exercise that many otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
“Anything that is invested will save a lot of money down the track.”
She hoped council stepped into help fund the centre on a more permanent basis.
“It needs to be a community, not just a hall for hire.”
A working group has been formed to help sort through the centres issues and discussions with Nelson City Council and Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association, as well as funders, has been ongoing.
Last week members of the working group were co-opted onto the board of the Community Centre and the three previous board members resigned.
Chair of the co-opted board, Murray Leaning, announced that a lease agreement between the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association and the pre-school, which is owned by the centre, has also been reached and the three staff that were previously employed by the pre-school have been re-hired.
The lease between the kindergarten association and the community centre is on a month-by-month basis.