Community collaboration is being praised as the driving force for Omokoroa’s new $1.6 million sports pavilion turning from a dream into a reality.
The purpose-built two-storey facility (1050m2) was officially opened this morning by Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber and Omokoroa Sports and Recreation Society Chair Richard Gerrish at the Western Avenue Recreation Reserve.
The pavilion will be home base for the Omokoroa Sport and Recreation Society and it is also the new temporary location for Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Omokoroa Library and Service Centre.
Society Chair Richard Gerrish says the pavilion began as a dream – but has become a reality through the tremendous community support and the faith of external funders, the Council and the Omokoroa Community Board – and the driving force of the Society’s executive team.
“The executive team of myself, treasurer Dennis Cresswell, secretary Andrea Willoughby and Vicki Knell combined strong professional expertise and together we managed the design, funding applications and construction phase of the pavilion,” says Richard.
The feasibility study started in 2016 with local architect Stufken & Chambers Architects preparing the concept designs and Rider Levett Bucknall Quantity Surveyors prepared the construction budgets.
“These deliverables were key to the Society securing the much needed funding. After making many applications, we secured all the necessary funding by mid-2019,” says Richard.
Omokoroa Sports and Recreation Society Chair Richard Gerrish and Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber officially open the Omokoroa Sports Pavilion.
Mayor Garry Webber says the pavilion is a fantastic asset for the Omokoroa community. Advocating for improved facilities on Western Avenue Reserve was among his early goals when he was elected on to the Omokoroa Community Board in 2009.
“This pavilion has real significance for me. When I was elected on to the Board with Glenn Whittaker, Graeme Taylor and Robert Hicks, this was one of our aspirational projects.
“Omokoroa has grown even more in population and diversity of residents since then - and it is with real pride that we as Council have seen this current pavilion leadership group take this vision and convert it into reality.”
Mayor Garry thanks the Omokoroa Sport and Recreation Society members for being so accommodating in working alongside Council to develop the purpose-built facilities in the form of a sports pavilion and a library and service centre for Council.
“It made perfect sense to Council to take the opportunity to build our facility alongside the new pavilion. Once again this is a project achieved through the collaborative relationships that Council believes are so essential for progress in our communities.”
He also praised the Omokoroa community for supporting the Sport and Recreation Society’s fundraising effort for the pavilion which gained $1.6 million toward the cost. The pavilion includes changing rooms, a referee’s space, a social space, a large activity space and kitchen.
The adjacent new library and service centre has been funded through the Omokoroa Community Board’s town centre budget and Council’s Replacement Reserve Fund. Council will keep the old pavilion and is considering a shortlist of sites for its relocation.
In addition to pavilion funds raised by the Society, there were grants from TECT, Lotteries, NZCT, Bay Trust and the Wright Family, $146,000 from the community, $100,000 from the Omokoroa Community Board and Council funding for accessible toilets.