What does this but­ton do?

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Nichols

PORT Dou­glas State School’s Par­ents and Cit­i­zens com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Ray Pit­man is very proud of the state of the art cy­clone shel­ter that has been perched on the school grounds for the past 10 months, but he’s got a few ques­tions.

Who’s ser­vic­ing the build­ing, who pays for its up­keep, and, um . . who knows how to run it?

The gen­er­ously do­nated build­ing - pro­vided by a sheikh from Abu Dhabi as one of five in Far North Queens­land - is a show­piece of pur­pose-ori­ented en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion. That it is more solid than the prover­bial goes with­out say­ing. More than that, though, it is lav­ishly fit­ted out, run­ning along smoothly from a bank of elec­tronic sys­tem con­trols.

But the ram­i­fi­ca­tion of this so­phis­ti­cated build­ing - which has yet to be of­fi­cially opened even - are some­thing with which the P&C com­mit­tee is strug­gling to come to terms.

Though the school has been given 10 huge man­u­als - each about 9 cm thick and in­clud­ing dig­i­tal discs them­selves hold­ing thou­sands of pages, which doc­u­ment ev­ery facet of the fa­cil­ity and its main­te­nance - just ex­actly who’s pay­ing for its up­keep is a bit of a mys­tery. School logs show that reg­u­lar main­te­nance of the sys­tems in the build­ing is oc­cur­ring but no one is quite sure who is car­ry­ing this out and who’s pay­ing for it.

On top of that, so far no one has stepped up to say who will run the fa­cil­ity in the event of a cy­clone or other emer­gency which puts the build­ing to its core use - as a shel­ter.

It can care for 300 souls in an emer­gency and is cer­tainly im­pres­sively de­signed and fit­ted out to do that. It just needs some­one who knows how to run it!

At the mo­ment Mr Pit­man feels the top class fa­cil­ity in En­deav­our St is dras­ti­cally un­der-used and he’s keen for lo­cals to put it to good use. The school does use it - there’s a class­room space, and of course the top­notch bas­ket­ball and gym floor in the build­ing - but for much of the time the floor space in the main au­di­to­rium is not be­ing used, es­pe­cially af­ter school.

‘‘At the mo­ment it is used for kids bas­ket­ball on a Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon and there is in­ter­est to start up in­door soc­cer, but other than that noth­ing,’’ says Mr Pit­man. ‘‘The po­ten­tial of the build­ing is enor­mous and I’m sure if peo­ple knew about it it would be well sought out and ap­pre­ci­ated.’’

He says some of the uses of the space could be: Bad­minton, in­door soc­cer, hand­ball, floor­ball, in­door cricket, in­door hockey, meet­ing venue, gym­nas­tics, con­fer­ence venue, yoga, theatre arts, dances (teach­ing of old time, line, etc), net­ball m/f mixed, bas­ket­ball m/f/mixed, car­pet bowls, mar­tial arts.

The P&C of the Port Dou­glas SS is invit­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of lo­cal sport­ing and other clubs, event or­gan­is­ers, mem­bers of the Cham­ber of Com­merce and in­ter­ested in­di­vid­u­als to in­spect the Evac­u­a­tion Cen­tre at 5pm on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 3.

Pic­ture: SHANE NICHOLS

BAF­FLED:

Ray Pit­man and one of the sys­tem con­soles at the cy­clone shel­ter

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