Community working hard for helipad

Cold work . . . Braving freezing temperatures last week to get their work done are (from the left) , Nigel Homer and Sam Chapman on trowels, and Russell Dickey, Mark Chapman and Min Bain on rakes and Robbie Warhurst (in orange). PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE



Rakes, shovels and trowels were on hand as volunteers from the Lawrence community turned out last week to help as the concrete was poured at their new emergency helipad.
Volunteers from the community and members of the Lawrence Lions Club ignored the freezing temperatures early on Thursday morning because the concrete was coming and it had to be poured there and then.
Lawrence Lions member Alison Joyce said the project had been a few years in the making and it was good to see the pour finally happening.
“More than two years ago, Tim Dickie approached Lions for help arranging the finance and labour to build the permanent helipad at Simpson Park and here it is today. “A lot of people here in Lawrence have helped out as best they could over the years including a number of local contractors and tradies. ‘‘For that we are all extremely grateful. “They all pitched in and helped construct the base for the emergency helicopter to land safely here when we need it,” she said. The group finished pouring and levelling about 1.45pm. The community funded and built helipad is still a way from being operational. More than 500 man-hours have gone into the helipad so far and there are many more to come. The ramp has to be built, the safety zone fenced. The light and windsock still have to go up and it will have to be inspected by the The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.