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March 15, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Southern School of Swing Set to Succeed

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Capital college of classical composition circumscribed

The University of Canterbury’s proposal for a new music school is looking to go ahead.

The proposed new building for Christchurch would give the city a claim in a leading position as New Zealand’s premier classical music educator.

In November, the Christchurch City Council voted to support the proposal with a narrow 7–6 vote in favour.

There is debate as to where the new building will be located. The council favours the plans which would see the music school shift from the current location on the suburban Ilam campus to the Arts Centre in the central city.

It is hoped that the new building would replace the current inadequate facilities, allow room for new music programs to develop and give the university a more significant link to the city.

Many who work within the Arts Centre are in favour of the school as it would solve the economic problems that the centre currently suffers from. It would give the Arts Centre financial security for many forthcoming years. City businesses are also in favour of the new location as it would bring back business that has been lost in the last 20 years to suburban retailers.

The architectural designs intend to keep the building style in synch with the gothic-styled heritage buildings that exist already within and around the Arts Centre. The development cost at $24.3 million will be met by the City Council.

However, there are many who oppose the proposed central site. Save Our Arts Centre is one group vocally contesting the new building. They believe that the new building would overshadow the Arts Centre site and be out of place with the heritage buildings.

Yet with the backing of the council, a new music school for Canterbury University looks well on its way.

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