Makeover 'amazing'

Arrowtown Bowling Club life member Taylor Reed cuts the ribbon on the building's new $150,000 makeover on Sunday. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Arrowtown Bowling Club life member Taylor Reed cuts the ribbon on the building's new $150,000 makeover on Sunday. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
A well-known Arrowtown building and well-used community centre has had its $150,000 makeover.

The Arrowtown Bowling Club, which dates to 1908, was last refurbished in 1994.

On Sunday, the ribbon was cut to reveal the improvements, which began in May.

Up to 24 groups use the club and many more hire the building for functions, so members decided two years ago it was necessary to revamp the building to fit its purpose.

User groups include the bowls club, the Arrowtown Darts Club, Arrowtown Cubs and Scouts, the RSA, and the Arrowtown Curling Club.

The project has involved more than 1000 hours of volunteer work by locals and received $90,908 in funding from local franchises and trusts.

These included donations from SkyCity Queenstown Community Trust ($2500), the Lottery Grants Community Facility Fund ($28,408), the Community Trust of Southland and Central Lakes Trust ($20,000 each), and the Lion Foundation and First Sovereign Trust ($10,000 each).

Funding co-ordinator Julie Hughes said the bowling club was "very thankful" to all the funding agencies who supported the project.

"Without their contributions there is no way we would have been able to complete this project.

"It gives us an amazing community facility and it will be utilised by a wide range of community groups."

Refurbishments have included the exterior wall by the bowling green being extended by 2m. The cobblestone walkway remains around the edge of the green.

The building has been fitted with double-glazed sliding windows along its length, enabling people inside the clubrooms to see the action on the green.

The internal ceiling has been raised, lighting fitted and acoustics improved.

The 1960s curtains have been removed and replaced with tasteful blinds, and new tables and chairs have been installed.

Mrs Hughes said the reaction had been "absolutely fantastic", and those viewing the interior of the clubrooms for the first time had been impressed by the handiwork of builder and club member Gary Chalmers, of G.F.

Chalmers Builder.

"People hadn't realised how much of an improvement this has made ... they've done some forward-thinking, so the design will be fantastic for years to come.

"Gary has done an absolutely amazing job of it - he's a perfectionist and he wasn't happy unless it was perfect.

"He didn't want to be sitting in there thinking 'that isn't quite right'."

The building now allows for a capacity crowd of 80 seated and 100 standing, or a total of 250 standing.