Growth pushes need for surf club upgrade

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

NEW LOOK: The design of Stockton Surf Life Saving Club after redevelopment, released on the club’s Facebook page. Picture: EJE Architecture. Stockton Surf Life Saving Club has released designs of how their planned club upgrade could look as they seek further community input before progressing to the next stage of redevelopment.
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The clubhopes to“turn the first bit of soil” within the next 12 months andexpand its premises following an increase in membership in recent years.

Disability access is at the forefront of the plans, which includes atwo-story extension to the south of the existing building and a new lift.

“We’ve set out on a pretty adventurous task,” Stockton SLSCpresidentCallanNickerson said.

“Not only have we recognised that we need to grow or get a bigger facility, but the other component to it is we actually want to be a leader in this space around community facilities.

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The club hasbeen in talks with disability advocacy groups regarding the designs. Population growth in areas north of Stockton has increased the need to upgradethe current building,built in the early1970s.

The upgrade’sinitial stages are being financedby the club, but further backing will be sought. Costings areyet to be completed.

“The first bit of funding,the club will put in as much money as we possibly can and our strategic plan backs that,” Mr Nickerson said.

“Various fundraising streams and some of our retained money, but we will also be looking for community partners.For people who want to be able to contribute to what’s a very good community facility, we’re very open to.

“And also other funding, through state government and council.”

The club will take community feedback on the plans, which are the second-set EJE Architecture have drawn, before progressingto a development application.

Ready-to-go plans and DA approval must be in place beforeseeking governmentfunding.

The planned redevelopment meansNewcastle’s sixsurf clubs from Merewether to the peninsula have either recently undergone upgrades or have plans to refurbish their buildings.

“We’re hopeful, and would be grateful for any contribution from council or state government, particularlyin light of other facilities being upgraded,” Mr Nickerson said.“But we’re not basing anything on that, we’re looking very much from our own point of view and at our own growth.It’s not a case of ‘he got, so we need’.

“Our club’s grown significantly, we’ve gotclose to 600 members. It’s important we have a facility that meets the needs of all.”

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