A welcome hand . . .The Clutha Recreation Centre Inc, received $70,000 from Otago Community Trust to go towards the Cross Recreation Centre extension project .PHOTO: JACK CONROY

Five South Otago recipients of the Otago Community Trust grants have had early Christmas presents with the announcement of $99,500 in funding for community projects.

The largest was awarded to the Clutha Recreation Centre Inc, which received $70,000 for the Cross Recreation Centre extension project.

The planned development for the extension of the eight-year-old Cross Recreation Centre will provide additional multi-use areas, extra meeting room and storage space.

The planned extension will add an 230sq m extension from the existing court area of the arena and include additional storage space, a multipurpose utility room, three additional office spaces plus additional netball/umpires meeting room.

The total cost of the extension project is estimated to be over $300,000.

Waiwera South School has received $20,000 towards replacing all-weather turf on its courts.

School principal Kaz Bissett said the community was extremely grateful.

“It’s pretty awesome and it goes a long way towards helping us raise the funds to replace the turf on our ageing courts with a new all-weather multi-sport compound,” she said.

“There is still a bit of fundraising to go but we are hopeful that early next year the children will have a new turf to play basketball, hockey, netball and tennis on.

“The current court area is well past its best and by upgrading it the school believe that a turf will add longevity to our school environment and provide an asset for the local community.”

She said that by “being rural we have no community centre, it is a long way to drive to get to any sporting facilities, by having a turf in the district it will give the school children and local community an all-weather turf that they can utilise for recreation and sports practices”

Catlins Search & Rescue received $4000 for building improvements on its Owaka base.

The work includes building a covered deck on the main building and a porch for both buildings, plus installing outside lighting to the deck area and toilet block which has no lighting or power.

Jenny’s Companionship Group Inc also received $4000 and the Catlins Coast Inc got $1500.