Surf Club building upgrade has commenced
Director of Life Saving (Club Captain) Scott Gordon, Lord mayor Gordon Bardbery OAM & Club President Keith Caldwell discuss the building extensions.
Initiated by the club, which lodged a development application to extend the overcrowded headquarters in June 2010, the extension will provide a second-storey to the council-owned building.
The upgrade will also ensure better public access and amenities and storage for council lifeguards. Construction is expected to be complete by autumn next year.
Councillors voted in June to award the $1.6 million building contract to Project Coordination Pty Ltd.
The club has contributed $640,000 to the project, including $350,000 from Surf Life Saving NSW, $30,000 from the NSW government and hundreds of thousands from fundraising.
The club’s director of lifesaving Scott Gordon said members had breathed a sign of relief as construction on the long-awaited upgrade began.
“We’ve got 500-plus members, more than half of those are female competitors and members and we have two toilets, so we definitely need to expand,” he said.
“We’ve got various grants and collectively the club had raised over $600,000 – that’s come from raffles, lolly drives, we’ve been up at the markets, dollar coin donations and community events, so we’re more than happy to partner with the council on this upgrade.”
He said the “iconic” club had up to 280 Nippers and had the “number one boat crew in Australia”, and hoped the expansion would encourage more members.
“Basically, if we build it, they will come – and we want more to come,” he said. “And just having increased facilities to allow up to do the operations – the surf lifesaving side of things that we’re all about – will be amazing.”
Likewise, Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the refurbishments would allow the club to continue its proud tradition and commended club members for putting in the effort to contribute to the project.
“This is recognition that it’s a really active club, and has churned out so many champions over the years,” he said.
“We couldn’t act immediately, because we had to finish Sandon Point [surf club] and that took up a lot of our surf club resources. But this has been our next priority, and here we are.”