Project leaders are taking stock as an upgrade to a ‘‘critical’’ community facility in West Otago enters its second phase.
West Otago Community Centre treasurer Hans van der Linden said up to $400,000 could be needed to complete the next phase of essential upgrades to the 30›year›old facility in Tapanui, following a successful $450,000 first stage.
Eventual project costs could surge well past $1 million, he said, as subsequent phases of redevelopment were an ‘‘unknown quantity’’ at present.
However, ‘‘doing nothing’’ was not an option.
‘‘This is a big project because, essentially, the whole roof and some of its supporting structure needs replacing.
‘‘Then, while you’re doing those things, it naturally makes sense to do other, related elements such as replacing the theatre support systems.
‘‘So it’s not necessarily obvious where the costs are, because the work being done is largely out of sight, but vital for the continued life of the complex.’’
He said the mix of ‘‘tray’’ and Butynol roofing installed during construction had not lasted well.
‘‘Although it was the latest thing at the time, the tray roofing basically leaked from day one. Then some of the steel and ply roofing supports are no longer fit for purpose, so there’s been a bit of work, and a bit more to come.’’
Stage one had reroofed the theatre and upgraded its support systems; stage two would reroof the main hall/ gymnasium and squash courts.
Funding to date had come from amixture of grants and ‘‘generous’’ private donations, he said.
Further grant funding would be sought to complete stage two, work on which would begin this summer.
A final stage would reroof the complex’s social and meeting rooms, and refurbish the interior.
Mr van der Linden said he hoped the entire project could be completed within five years.
‘‘We just want to keep the momentum going, because this is one of the few critical pieces of public infrastructure for West Otago.
‘‘It’s used daily for sports, social and other community activities, and it doubles as our Civil Defence centre, a back›up for the medical centre, and has a 200›seat theatre as good as anything south of Christchurch.
‘‘I think when people stop to think about the role it plays locally, making this investment to future›proof it for the next 50years and more just becomes common sense.’’