Construction to start on Watersports Facility

Pictured: Tree stumps removed along the Wanaka lakefront to make way for the Wanaka Watersports Facility construction, which is set to start early next month. | Photo: Wanaka Sun

Construction on the Wanaka Watersports Facility (WWSF) will start early next month with an anticipated build out completion date of October 2019. The WWSF Trust said that, after a long process, the building’s lease is being finalised with Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC).

The WWSF will be located on the lakefront at the western end of Roys Bay.

“Our Engineers BMC [Batchelar McDougall Consulting Ltd] adapted the foundation structure to more appropriately reflect the results of our Geotech Report and to ensure the Sequoia tree roots will remain undisturbed. These needed to be consented and priced and the delay was extended because of the holiday period,” said WWSF chairman Michael Sidey.

He said the foundations are the only complicated part of the project due to the site location and its proximity to the Redwoods.

“This process will require considerable expertise and an arborist will be present throughout. When these are complete, the building has no aspects that will cause delays.”

The $1.65 million community asset building is being funded by large contributions from Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Sargood Bequest, The Lion Foundation and Alexander McMillan Trust. Sidey said the Lottery Grants Board has yet to accept WWSF Trust’s funding application; the Trust will re-apply once they have completed further work with QLDC.

“In the interim, we have received guarantees from supporting parties to cover this shortfall.”

The Trust is seeking further donations to help fund the WWSF, which will be used to complete finishing touches and cover some of the initial operating expenses.

“We have received encouragement from some smaller Otago charitable trusts advising that they are keen to assist financially after the build,” said Sidey.

The Trust applied for resource consent in summer of 2016.

“We are just very excited to be so close to building this outstanding facility for the community. There are now three groups who want to have their members using the facility regularly: Wanaka Rowing Club, Wanaka Lake Swimmers and TriWanaka,” said Sidey. “Together they have approximately 240 members. We conservatively expect that figure will double in the first two to three years. That means many local families will be involved in watersports activities that are not already. In addition to them, we field regular enquires about storing kayaks and paddle boards. So pretty damn exciting. We have a management committee well advanced in working out the details of how it will work and they are being well advised by local experts.”

The WWSF is a community project, with charitable status, to provide a lake shore base for watersports.



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