Board offers support for new Omakau community centre

Omakau is one step closer towards the development of a new multi-purpose community facility.

The Vincent Community Board agreed this week to support in principle the development and construction of a facility in the Omakau Recreation Reserve.

Central Otago District Council community and engagement manager Paula Penno, speaking on behalf of the Omakau community, said discussions began when the Omakau Community Plan was being developed in about 2015.

There was a desire to use the Omakau Hall, but in 2013 an initial earthquake strengthening estimate for the 1950s war memorial hall came to about $230,000 ‘‘just to put bracing through the building’’.

When the local rugby club said it had similar issues with its building, it was a ‘‘beautiful stitch in time’’ to look at a solution for both buildings.

It was an opportunity to ‘‘look at this whole community’’ and decide what was needed, she said.

With a growing population it was an ‘‘interesting time’’ for the community and a good time to have a conversation about a new facility.

Other groups were also interested in a combined facility, including the local bowling club.

Several locations had been discussed but the final decision would be determined at a later stage.

The ‘‘great thing’’ about the community was they were already working on ways to fundraise, she said.

Vincent Community Board chairman Martin McPherson said it was ‘‘quite magic’’ to listen to a community talk with one voice.

It was a community that was ‘‘off to a very good start’’ with their fundraising plans.

‘‘We as a board support what they are doing,’’ he said.


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