'Absolutely brilliant': New $2m community hub at Halswell Domain opening soon

A long-awaited community facility with a price tag of more than $2 million will open soon at Halswell Domain.

After nearly 12 years of struggle, the new Halswell Hornets Rugby League Club building to replace the club's earthquake-damaged rooms is nearly complete.

Club committee member Colin Fenwick said he thought the facility would be fully functional by March ahead of the season starting in April.

The building will also be a "community hub" used by other sports clubs, ranging from netball to karate, and will be available to hire out for events, such as birthdays, weddings and funerals.

"It's got a fully-licenced bar and an industrial kitchen," Fenwick said.

"I think it's an absolutely brilliant design. There's plenty of glass around there, to look onto the field.

"[With] the new code it's built to now, it should last 100 years."

Colin Fenwick (left) and Hornets Rugby League president Devon Harding outside the new clubrooms...
Colin Fenwick (left) and Hornets Rugby League president Devon Harding outside the new clubrooms at Halswell Domain. Photo: Sat Media
The old soon-to-be-vacated clubrooms, which are 60-years-old, were damaged from the earthquakes.

"Part of the clubrooms had subsided down the back end of it, so we put a false wall there and basically just capped that off. Then we just proceeded to continue with the old club rooms."

The old clubrooms are due to be demolished within six months, but an exact date is yet to be set.

"We've got to keep using the old clubrooms until we get a compliance certificate from the council."

Some final work is still to be done on the new building, such as installing asphalt around it.

"That'll probably take three or four weeks to get done, and we're just going out to tender at the moment to get prices for that," Fenwick said.

The modern new clubrooms could last 100 years. Photo: Star News
The modern new clubrooms could last 100 years. Photo: Star News
The building's completion will mark the end a long struggle, in which securing funding was a big issue. A $1.9 million insurance payout took years to secure.

"Initially the offer was $380,000 to repair the building ... every time there was an earthquake, we went through the process, trying to explain why the building was not worth repairing," Fenwick said.

"it's been a long, long process."

The new clubrooms at Halswell Domain. Photo: Star Media
The new clubrooms at Halswell Domain. Photo: Star Media
Lotteries Commission funding and club savings also helped to meet the cost, which was originally expected to be about $2 million.

"It's probably going to cost about $200,000 more than we thought initially. We're also applying for extra funding."

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