Donors inject new life into rescue centre
The generosity of Nelson businesses and benefactors has given the Sealord Marine Rescue Centre on Wakefield Quay a new lease on life.
The octagonal building is only 21 years old but the specialised cladding on its unusual roof shape did not prove to be long-lived and it became a "leaky building", centre trustee Harold Mason said.
Original lead sponsor Sealord Group chimed in again, along with Port Nelson Ltd, Gibbons Group, the Nelson City Council and others to provide the required $64,000 in materials and labour to not only re-roof but also refurbish the two-story centre inside and out.
Nelson architect Ian Jack came back free of charge for the second time to oversee the work.
Home to Nelson Coastguard and the Nelson Surf Life Saving Club, the centre is used several nights a week for their training and maritime courses for the public, and is their base when rescues are underway, working closely with the police rescue co-ordination centre.
The Sealord Marine Rescue Centre Trust administers the centre on behalf of Coastguard and the surf lifesavers, with each group represented by trustees.
This afternoon they will all get together with the project's sponsors for a "roof shout".
Mr Mason, one of the small team that handled the original project - including doing some of the building work himself - said the complex angles of the roof had required a special cladding which hadn't lasted well, delaminated and meant all the plywood underneath had to be replaced.
The whole building had to be scaffolded, and the job, which began in March, took much longer than expected because of an extended run of unsuitable weather.
The new roofing membrane, Enviroclad, paid for by businessman Tom Sturgess, was "a far better product" and should last a lot longer, Mr Mason said.
He hoped so, because the building, somewhat echoing the shape of the lighthouse on the Boulder Bank, was "an icon for the waterfront".
The centre was built on Port Nelson Ltd land with the lease relinquished by the Nelson Yacht Club to the Coastguard, and ever since subject to only a peppercorn rental, "and I think they've even forgotten that", Mr Mason said.
But the land has since become part of a Nelson City Council reserve. Fellow trustee, harbourmaster Dave Duncan, said the support from the council for the refurbishment was appreciated, and the trust hoped it would be followed by a sympathetic new agreement on the lease.
Negotiations were underway, Captain Duncan said.
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