Gore responds to challenge of popularity
Three years ago the Gore RSA executive realised the club, a favoured social centre for the Eastern Southland district with a rapidly expanding membership, was becoming a victim of its own popularity.
The primary problem was space. so, the decision was made to expand and upgrade the facilities to accommodate growing membership. Design plans were completed in May 2015 and tenders for the work closed at the end of August 2015.
In September, it was announced that Gore based Jones and Cooper Ltd had been awarded the tender.
The estimated cost was $1.15 million. including the engagement of a project manager.
This was a significant sum for a non-commercial organisation but the club took it in its stride.
At a special general meeting in October 2015, members overwhelmingly resolved to adopt a plan through which the club would provide $650,000 from its reserves, and the $500,000 balance would be borrowed through a secured mortgage from the ASB Bank.
The appropriate resource consents from the Gore District Council were soon granted and work began late January 2016.
Despite an early threeweek delay through weather and drainage problems, construction had advanced rapidly by March, and the new “poppy feature wall” had been completed.
This stamped the identity of the RSA on the extension. The roof was on by early April and, in May, a new indoor bowls floor was laid in the new building.
The executive had completed plans for the installation of six snooker tables, which enables the club to host major tournaments.
May also saw the installation of a carefully positioned light that at night illuminated the red poppy on the feature wall.
Older club members, in particular, welcomed this as a reminder of for what the RSA stands for.
During June the kitchen was extended and new bar facilities were installed to serve the function and games rooms.
Both the RSA and the contractor, Jones and Cooper, were proud that the project came in under the estimated budget.
The money saved was used to finance the purchase and laying of new carpet in the restaurant area, and to provide extra seating for members.
Membership has now topped 2200.