Surf Club Seeks Support for Bold Development Plan

Written by on December 26, 2022

Upgrading and breathing new life into the 55-year-old Whangamata Surf Club is on track with the club already raising more than $500,000 towards its $2.5 million target.

Project Transformation started in late 2020 with the club determining that its Williamson Park based building needed a repaint. This opened a massive opportunity as the repaint prompted a question was the existing building fit for purpose.

Following an initial design/engineering feasibility study which was funded by Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, and member consultation, in the Spring of this year formal fundraising commenced with Project Transformation underway.

In a recent update to members, the project position was described as having “many balls in the air at the moment” something expected given the early stages of this project.

“We are waiting on completion of the seismic report and remain in discussion with the Thames Coromandel District Council over the lease extension and the updated drawings are yet to be completed.

“In addition to this, project lead Bryan Black is in discussions with several suppliers regarding the potential for material discounts. It is our intention to keep all members regularly updated and we will be emailing a further report in January.”

The renovations envisaged under Project Transform are based on the club’s current footprint, profile and design aesthetic and are principally aligned to its highly seasonal operational needs. The focus is on delivering meaningful “future-proofing” improvements.

“The project scope is widely supported by the membership. This scope also positions us well in terms of the applicable consenting processes; the need for lease extension discussions with Council; funding and stakeholder and community engagements,” the club reported.

Some of the changes being considered in final draft plans include:

  • Re-configuring the proposed main internal public stairway (enhancing available spaces for training/meetings and the bar operations area)
  • Incorporating sustainability enhancements such as solar panels
  • Adding a lift for people and goods
  • Enhancing natural light into the main clubroom via windows on the Northern club house wall
  • Expanding/joining front decks. Deck-to-ground stairs for lifeguards
  • Extending the IRB shed; extending the main gear sheds to improve storage options for operational and Lifesaving Sport equipment
  • Widening and enhancing tower- to -tube bay staircase; and moving the opening to face the lifeguard operational area not the club’s main function area and
  • Putting in place an external access to SAR equipment/vehicle.

Funding has come from a variety of sources within the Whangamata community and beyond and includes a transfer from the Club’s reserves and funds raised at a recent Whangamata Community event at Williamson Park.

“We cannot be complacent, there is still a long way for us to go. Without assured funding lines the club cannot proceed with actual commencement of the final design.”

Potential supporters who can assist with funding or any contributions can use the project direct line 0800 403020.

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