38 days ago

Rakaia recreation centre plans boosted by council cash injection

The Team Reporter from The Press

From local democracy reporter Jonathan Leask:

Rakaia’s rugby club president says it’s an exciting time after receiving council backing for a new community facility in the Rakaia Domain.
The rugby club is leading a project to demolish the existing outdated facility at the Rakaia Domain and build a new one that will serve as a community recreation centre.

The council, in the annual plan, resolved to fund public toilets in the new facility and to offer an up to $200,000 commercial loan to support the club’s fundraising efforts, none of which impacts rates.

“It’s an exciting time for us to now have the council on board with the public amenities and also the financial backing,” club president Mark Hanrahan said.

“The contribution from the council is a significant step towards the total package.

“It’s exciting for the club and the community.”

The rugby club completed its design and cost estimates in March 2021 and is making progress to secure funds, and Hanrahan said the timeline was still focused on completion by the second quarter of 2023.

Back in 2015, the Rakaia Stadium Trust had pitched to the council to back a new sports complex at the Rakaia Domain. But as the EA Networks Centre was readying to open the council balked at the $1.5 million funding request towards the estimated $5m facility.

Hanrahan, who was part of the project team for the stadium, said the current plan is fit for purpose.

The project first went before the council in December when the club was advised to submit its requests for financial support to the annual plan.

In the annual plan the council committed to $351,000, loan funded, for new public toilets in the facility, as the current ones are part of the existing facility that will be demolished.

The rugby club has sold its clubrooms that were on the other side of town and is currently utilising the neighbouring bowling club as a temporary clubrooms.

The Rakaia Reserve Board’s Bruce Perry told the council in December that the board supported the project as the existing facilities were past their use-by and most likely did not meet earthquake building standards. An assessment had not been undertaken.

Hanrahan said as well as the reserve board they had the support of other sporting codes and now the annual plan has been adopted it has council support.

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