Surf clubhouse is on track

MIGHTY SITE: The $5.1 million purpose designed community, surf life saving and educational facility is progressing well
MIGHTY SITE: The $5.1 million purpose designed community, surf life saving and educational facility is progressing well

The last splurge of fundraising is beginning to tie up loose ends to finish the Muriwai surf clubhouse and community centre.

Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service chairman Tim Jago is delighted with progress on the $5.1 million purpose designed community, surf life saving and educational facility.

"We're ahead of schedule and on track to come in just under budget."

He's calling on supporters to continue the challenge to raise the remaining amount needed before February to take possession of the fully fitted out facility. Less than $230,000 is to be raised.

"Every fundraising activity is vital. Because we are ahead of schedule, we have actually got a shorter fundraising period available to us."

The project may be ready next month, and an official opening is planned early next year, possibly with club patron Prime Minister John Key doing the honours.

"People are coming out of the woodwork to support us. This time last year we held a reunion which attracted about 400 people."

The centre will be home to other groups like the sports fishing club, a playgroup, arts trail, the environmental action trust, and a film group.

"With half of the new building area consisting of bookable spaces available to be used by local and visiting groups, it is fully expected that two or three organisations will be using the new facilities concurrently," Mr Jago says.

He has been impressed by the groups that are buying their own equipment and working with the designers.

"Everyone is coming on board. If they're making a request for specific building features they're matching it with fundraising."

Mr Jago acknowledges their community has grown so much and many of its groups are getting too big and need a place to meet.

"They're lining up to use it already."

Auckland Council manager Richard Hollier says the club is an integral part of Muriwai Regional Park and its community.

"We have been working with the club for some years now with the common goal of ensuring that an essential surf life saving service is provided at one of our region's most popular beaches."

The council and it's predecessors, the Auckland Regional Council and Rodney District Council, made substantial contributions to the club's building fund.

Council parks forum chairwoman Sandra Coney says it is wonderful to see the new surf club taking shape.

"For a time we were concerned that the natural processes on this high energy beach were going to threaten the future of surf life saving at Muriwai altogether," she says.

"A great deal of hard work, fundraising and community support has already gone into securing the new building and we encourage continued support to get the job done."

Mr Jago is also delighted with strong fundraising coming from the alumni concept launched at the club's August annual general meeting.

Club members who have given decades of voluntary service are renewing their commitment with significant personal donations.

The alumni is for present or past club members, their families and people who support the important role Muriwai's lifeguards play in keeping the beach safe.

The project was a huge buzz for the design company Jasmax.

"It gives us the unique opportunity to design a structure for one of Auckland's best loved west coast surf beaches," Jasmax principal Euan McKellar says.

"A radical new Muriwai Surf Lifesaving Club building will certainly become emblematic of this iconic location and its hardy community and we are excited to be part of the project."

Mr McKellar says they tackled the challenge of designing a building which needed to perform in climatic extremes by wrapping the building in a skin of resilient timber.

"We provided raised spaces that take in the big views to the west but are also sheltered by overhanging roofs and able to be enjoyed rain, wind or shine. The bonus of timber is its ability to silver and blend harmoniously into the dunes. It's also a renewable and sustainable resource that's easy to work with and maintain."

Both the club and Jasmax came up with a plan that separates core lifesaving activities from spaces arranged to allow for multiple groups to use the building independently and simultaneously.

"We believe we have not only designed a building that embraces the pared back simplicity of beach life, but also provides a collection of outstanding functional spaces for the lifeguard service, locals and visitors to enjoy," Mr McKellar says.

"Seeing this project on site is a celebration of the years of hard work put in by all the volunteers who have dedicated themselves to making Muriwai a safer place. We are not there yet, but the determination and hard work never wanes. It will be a much loved and much deserved building."

Construction company Naylor Love says the project is unique in many ways.

Project manager Grant Snell says it took a lot of effort to manage the cost, scope and duration, to conform with the flow of funding and limited budget.

"This has resulted in removing and re-introducing large elements of the building scope to suit budget constraints and cash flow. This has certainly introduced many challenges which have been overcome with exemplary team work and collaboration," Mr Snell says.

The company has taken "a very proactive approach to reduce costs, expedite the programme and add value wherever we can" as an opportunity to help give residents something to be immensely proud of, and a valuable asset and resource to the greater community.

"From the beginning to the present, we are very excited to be involved in a world class, exceptionally well thought out project both in form, which is destined to be award winning and function, being a result of vigorous research and co-ordination," Mr Snell says.

"We see our association with winning an award for design and construction as a statement, an external validation of all the hard work that has gone into this project involving many stakeholders, and something to be very proud of indeed."

The Trusts Community Foundation is proud to see gaming machine proceeds from West Auckland go towards such a significant project.

Visit thesurfclubat to donate or for information.

Norwest News