Community centre fundraisers confident of meeting $650,000 target

About $375,000 has been raised so far for the Omarama Community Centre and Medical Centre project and fundraisers are optimistic they will reach the target of $650,000.

The Omarama Residents' Association has been working for about three years to redevelop the memorial hall to make it more versatile.

Treasurer Glenys Dawson said it held $195,000 cash and had conditional donations from the Otago Community Trust of $95,000 and the Meridian Energy community fund of $375,000. This was after spending about $25,000 on architect's fees, permits and other costs.

"We are still optimistic that we will remain on track to reach our target and are proud of ... raising this much money in a relatively short time frame."

The project committee applied for funding from the Lottery Grants Board, but had been declined, largely because of an over-subscription of applications and limited funding available at the end of the board's financial year.

Mrs Dawson said the committee had been advised it was eligible to apply again, and would do so this month.

The committee also continued to look elsewhere for funds, she said.

The proposed redevelopment includes an area for a gym and space for as many sports as possible. Spaces would be for a range of uses, and would get better soundproofing. Some facilities would be upgraded and relocated.

A 50sq m extension would be built at the rear for a Plunket and meeting room, next to new unisex toilets. A doctors' room would be developed off the entrance foyer, replacing the Omarama Medical Centre.

The kitchen would be relocated and upgraded. The play group would stay in the existing wing. The hall would still be available for Omarama events and general public use and also as a sports centre, gymnasium and indoor training area.

Construction cost was estimated last year at $500,000, and up to another $150,000 to fit out the building.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz