Heritage building among first to reopen in CBD

Posted 01 Oct 2011 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in CBD , Heritage , Media
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A heritage building that has escaped the wrecking ball will be one of the first to reopen in Christchurch's central business district on Monday.

English language school, Languages International, will resume classes at the site on Worcester Boulevard after months of site sharing with Aspiring Language Institute at its Merivale premises.

School Director Kate Rouse said repairs to the building had been completed after it was damaged in the February earthquake.

''The return to normal operations marks another important step in the rebuilding of Christchurch's English language teaching industry.''

The industry - a key part of the international education and tourism industries - had been ''hit hard'' by the earthquakes, she said.

''Straight after the earthquake, I wondered if we would ever return. But we've been lucky and after a bit of engineering work, we're ready to move back in.''

Staff and students were fantastic in the days immediately after the earthquake and many teachers continued giving students English lessons in their own homes, she said.

''Some of the students were amazing. They stayed on because the wanted to show their solidarity to their teachers and the people of Christchurch. Everyone is pleased to be finally going home and to be back in the city centre as it comes alive again.''

A former student of the school, Miki Hayasaka, 37, of Japan died in the earthquake. A former teacher earlier told The Press Hayasaka had attended the school for a year and was adored by everyone.

Hayasaka died in the CTV building. She was studying at King's Education based in the CTV building.

''She had returned to Tokyo before Christmas and had just arrived back in the country to do a certificate in English for nursing at King's as she loved Christchurch and wanted to work as a nurse here,'' the former teacher said.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said the city was seeing a small number of businesses filter back in towards the cordon as it was pulled back.

''In this case it is a beautiful heritage building. I have seen the teams in there working over the last few weeks and I had a chat to one of the painters who was putting on some finishing touches.

''It's another small step towards normality and we really need to congratulate this group of business people on their absolute faith in Christchurch and their commitment to restarting their business.''

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