The Nelson City Council will have to spend up to $13 million to get its main civic venue open again.
Today it heard a report and recommendations on the future of the Trafalgar Centre, which was closed 18 months ago because of earthquake risk.
Project manager and consulting engineer Richard Kirby said the estimated cost would be enough to get the earthquake-prone building open again, as opposed to building a new venue at a cost of up to $30 million.
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said she was confident the building would be re-opened, depending on a council decision next week.
She said it had been one of the most challenging decisions the council had faced over the last decade, and that the project had also become an international case study for seismic analysis.