Youth facility proposed for Waitati

Blueskin Youth Centre Association committee member Dr Paul Sirota studies concept plans for a...
Blueskin Youth Centre Association committee member Dr Paul Sirota studies concept plans for a possible new youth facility incorporating an indoor concrete sports court, which could be built at Bland Park in Waitati. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A new youth facility in Waitati would give young people somewhere to "kick a ball around" and a place to do physical activity in bad weather, say those behind the idea.

Blueskin Youth Centre Association committee member Dr Paul Sirota said the community had yet to be consulted about the idea, but the concept was for a building which would enclose a concrete area, large enough for a netball court, alongside adjacent rooms.

The court could also be used for other sports, such as basketball and tennis, and the facility could house a playcentre, small gym and a toy library.

"We don't want people to have to go all the way to town, or Waikouaiti, to undertake some kind of physical activity."

It was likely to cost several hundred thousand dollars, Dr Sirota said.

The association already has $120,000 for the project.

The plan was that it would replace the former Presbyterian church, which was badly damaged by fire in 2002. The church had been given to the community during the 1970s and converted into a hall.

The money from the insurance payment, subsequent sale of the church and investments had been held since then, and the community had always indicated it wanted to see it used for youth in the area, Dr Sirota.

A committee had reformed "in earnest" last year and would be ready to start consulting with the community once costings were completed. The community would need to be involved in further fundraising.

There had been a lot of community support for the project so far, with people offering their time and expertise free, he said.

The A&P society had indicated they would be amenable "in principle" to the facility being built at Bland Park.

When the idea was presented to the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board last week, Cr Andrew Noone said a new library was also planned for the area which would need community funding.

Care was needed when seeking external funding as the money available from funding agencies had diminished, he said.

Construction of a $760,000 library is planned for next year if the community can raise about one-third of the cost.

Cr Noone also said the pending realignment of SH1 through Waitati would give an opportunity to redevelop the centre of Waitati.

The concept plans for the youth facility can be viewed at the Blueskin Bay Library.

- edith.schofield@odt.co.nz

 

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