HBHS $35m sport complex funds trickle in

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 15:31 24/06/2014
HBHS sports comples
ILLUSTRATION: Studio 106

SPORTING SPACE: Plans for a multimillion-dollar, three-stage Hamilton East Community Sports Complex at Hamilton Boys’ High School have been unveiled.

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Funds for a multimillion-dollar sport complex are coming in, but not as fast as those behind it had hoped.  

The big plans for a Hamilton East Community Sports Complex on Hamilton Boys' High School grounds were unveiled last month, along with a fund-raising site.

The first part of the three-stage development was expected to cost $2.8 million, and around $10,000 has been received, with more promised. 

''The fund-raising is ticking along. It's a steady flow,'' Hamilton Boys' High School project manager Philippe Basel said. ''It's going well. It's not going as quickly as I hoped it would.''

One of the first donors was an older gentleman who was giving $5  a month because he believes the facilities will benefit the community, although he will never use them, Basel said.

The funding website had over 750 views and about $10,000 worth of donations. More supporters had verbally agreed to donate, to the tune of around $50,000, he said. 

Stage one of the complex - new hockey turfs and tennis courts, and a swimming pool redevelopment -  is set to cost $2.8m.

When the fund-raising website was launched, Basel said the school hoped to raise at least $800,000 for stage one of the project.

Yesterday, he said around $500,000 is likely to be raised from the school fund-raiser site, and he hopes groups such as sports clubs will ntsG could nte help with the rest.

Options for donors include getting their names on pavers, benches (the most popular choice so far), pillars or outdoor court coverings. These options cost from $200 to $5000. 

Supporters have also made non-monetary offers in terms of sports gear and help with management of the facility out of hours. And more avenues for funding remain to be explored.

The school is negotiating with commercial sponsors, Basel has more groups for support and further funding applications are in the pipeline.

A project manager has also been appointed, so Basel is able to focus on the fund-raising.

Some funding for the complex had been secured from the outset - the school's board of trustees committed funding and WEL Energy Trust promised an initial $30,000 grant.

The second stage of the complex will be the sports centre, which ntsG and nte includes a multiuse turf, indoor arena, a heated indoor water polo pool, a mezzanine and viewing gallery and a lecture and study room.

Last week, another sporting development was tipped for Hamilton following a Sport Waikato report - an indoor pool complex for Rototuna.

Sport Waikato proposed Hamilton City Council close the Municipal Pools to invest in the northeast of the city, and suggested a complex with a 25m lane pool, fun pool and learn-to- swim pool, and possibly a hydrotherapy pool.

''We're excited that they want to do things north of the city because I think from a community point of view that is needed,'' Basel said.

''But it also points to the fact we need something down here as well. 

''So we've hit the mark on what we need down here and it's great that we can all work together.''

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The three stages of the project will cost $35 million.

For information or to donate, visit hamiltonsportscomplex.co.nz

- Waikato Times

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