Stadium proposals fuel debate on facilities

SUE FRANCIS
Last updated 05:00 26/03/2014
Waimate stadium
Supplied

NEW-LOOK STADIUM: An artist’s impression of the planned Waimate Stadium upgrade, which would cost an estimated $3.5-$3.8m.

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A businessman has presented an alternative to the Waimate District Council's revamped sports stadium a week before submissions close.

Gary Dennison, of Point Bush Estates Vineyard and Te Kiteroa Lodge, has put forward an option he has costed at $2.9 million to the proposed upgrade of the existing Waimate Stadium.

He has suggested a stadium next to the Norman Kirk swimming pool.

The council's proposed stadium upgrade is estimated to cost $3.5m to $3.8m, and was accurate to within 10 per cent, mayor Craig Rowley said.

Both men spoke on Tuesday night to a Business Waimate forum attended by about 30 people.

Submissions on the stadium upgrade and council's draft annual plan close next Tuesday, April 1.

Mr Rowley urged residents to be part of the process. If they had suggestions on how to improve the design, these should be included in their submissions.

Small changes - such as extending the length to allow a safe runoff for players from the court - were possible, he said.

"We want people to submit, whether they are for or against, and on May 6 we will decide do we proceed, or do we not," Mr Rowley said.

If there was a groundswell of support for two basketball courts, council would consider that, "but it has to be affordable".

Mr Dennison's plan included an indoor lap pool, space for a full-size indoor football court, or two basketball courts, and a climbing wall.

"I think we've gone beyond a one-court town," he said.

"We need to widen our horizons and have two courts from day one."

There is no stage in his design. Temporary staging could be erected for the Waimate Shears, which was held only two days of the year, he said.

He also argued for solar power for the building.

Deputy mayor Sharyn Cain said research by previous councils had shown a town Waimate's size only needed one court.

The additional size required additional maintenance and heating, and wasn't cost-effective.

She questioned Mr Dennison's costings, and said that council's budget was for a stadium ready to go, including appliances, flooring, a lift, parking and landscaping, "and a whole heap of inclusions".

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- The Timaru Herald

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