Football club closes in on clubrooms goal
New facilities at Keith Hay Park can't come fast enough for Three Kings United.
The park's football club has been trying to replace its facilities for 18 years.
A 2012 Auckland Council concept plan includes two new artificial fields, a bigger car park, a children's playground and new clubrooms costing about $3 million.
But the club says funding is a "Catch 22".
Club manager Steven Reid says the club has to find the money - some from the council, with the rest coming from grants and fundraising - before the old facilities can be knocked down.
"It's all about timing and the time is now. The current clubrooms are just useable, functional, but they're really past their use-by date. There's not enough room and we're ready for something more."
Keith Hay Park is the busiest sporting ground in Auckland with about 70 visiting teams and more than 7000 people packing the grounds every Saturday.
Work on the first stage of the park plan started in January, including removing an outdoor pool and revamping parking facilities.
Three Kings United have submitted a funding application to the council and the decision will be made on June 16.
The rest of the new car park is planned for the space currently occupied by the club so it will have to be done later.
"We're just waiting at the moment," Reid says.
"We want to move and council wants us to move but first we need the money. For a long time there was perceived obstruction or stumbling blocks to get over but it was all about putting our ducks in a row before we could see advancement."
The plan is to move the clubrooms further out on the fields, overlooking the main playing ground.
Club president Murray Holdaway says parking is also an issue with half of the car parks currently fenced off.
The clubrooms need to move sooner rather than later, he says.
"It's a frustrating one. We've been working on it for so many years, but we're much closer now than we have been for a long, long time."
Council spokeswoman Jane Aickin says the plan has been purposely staged to allow for the clubroom redevelopment.
The fields will be rejigged to accommodate two new artificial fields which will be built in about 2018 - a process that would ideally be co-ordinated with the clubroom construction, Aickin says.
The car park expansion is on track, she says.
"The concept plan is intended to guide development of the park for many years into the future."
Go to threekings.org.nz to contact the club or help out with fundraising
- Central Leader
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