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A new charitable trust, the Geraldine District Foundation (GDF) has bought the former Geraldine Town and Country Club on the corner of Talbot and Maslin streets, Geraldine, to be refitted as a medical centre.
The building was bought with the help of the Geraldine Licensing Trust and the club.
Chairman James Wallace said the foundation could not thank the licensing trust enough for choosing to financially support the foundation's first project, and the club had been generous in offering favourable terms.
The plan is for the foundation to work with a specialist project manager to do a total refit to create a medical centre owned by the community.
"The building is incredibly solid, with an earthquake rating that currently exceeds 80 per cent, however there is much to do to turn the 600m2 building into a modern community-based medical facility which we hope will be the pride of Geraldine. It is our aim to achieve the gold standard in medical facilities and services for our residents,'' said Rosie Morten, of the foundation's trustees.
Fellow trustee Wayne O'Donnell said the combination of size and structural soundness, plus ample parking, made it the ideal site for a medical centre.
Once complete, the operation of the centre would be under a management model yet to be decided, but would include a range of practitioners, from doctors, dentists, pharmacy and physio, right through to other medical and wellness practitioners operating out-reach clinics.
Mr O'Donnell said it would be a one-stop shop for medical care.
The foundation had had expressions of interest from practitioners and was confident it would have a full range of services.
The Geraldine District Foundation is the first organisation of its kind in Geraldine, with the sole aim to initiate projects to benefit the community.
"There are other models around, such as Advance Ashburton, that offer the opportunity for local people to gift or bequeath money to be used for projects for the community.
Mr Wallace said: "There has long been discussion about the need to have the same sort of organisation in Geraldine, so it is very satisfying to see it finally getting off the ground.''
The foundation's patron is John Acland senior, formerly of Mt Peel Station.
The foundation is working on becoming a registered charity and then would seek benefactors and funds for its first project - the community-owned medical centre.
The Town and Country building will be owned by the Geraldine District Foundation and negotiations are under way with the Geraldine Endowment Fund administered by the Timaru council to buy the land on which the building sits.