Coun­cil will re­move rooms

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

A ‘‘facelift’’ of the Toko­roa Me­mo­rial Sports­grounds will see a num­ber of build­ings re­moved -a pro­ject that has up­set some clu­b­room users.

The de­ci­sion, made in Jan­uary by the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil, was named the ‘‘ to­tal build­ing ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion ex­er­cise’’.

The two an­nouncer’s boxes around the oval and the St John build­ing will be re­moved by the end of June while the Toko­roa High­land Pipeband and the A-frame will go at the end of the year.

A sur­vey con­ducted by the SGL group in 2010 found some of the the build­ings were dis­used and re­quired sig­nif­i­cant main­te­nance, ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil.

Toko­roa High School Old Boys clu­b­room is cur­rently in limbo with no fi­nalised date of re­moval.

Sec­re­tary trea­surer of the Old Boys club com­mit­tee, Gaynor Ngapo, wanted more an­swers from the coun­cil.

‘‘I don’t know why they seem to think it’s [Old Boys] derelict and not used.’’

She said the clu­b­room was booked most week­ends of the month from a va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity groups and of­ten in con­junc­tion with the marae across the road.

‘‘We have a lot of non-profit groups that use it for dif­fer­ent things.

I think if they get rid of these build­ings in Toko­roa, there’s go­ing to be a prob­lem.’’

Ngapo was con­cerned for the fu­ture of the build­ing and groups that use it.

‘‘You just don’t know what might hap­pen, it’s a bit of worry isn’t it.’’

Toko­roa East Bowl­ing Club is also on the chop­ping block.

It is cur­rently be­ing used by Love Soup and founder of the group Julie King was dis­ap­pointed with the de­ci­sion.

‘‘The place gets used seven days a week from us, to a grand­par­ents’ group, to kids’ club and pri­vate func­tions.’’

‘‘ Peo­ple al­ways say ‘ there’s a spe­cial feel­ing in here’ when they en­ter.’’

De­spite that, King said she had come to terms with it and was will­ing to move on in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the coun­cil.

And an al­ter­na­tive venue has been cho­sen.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said the aim was to open up ac­cess to the Sports and Events Cen­tre as well as beau­tify the grounds.

‘‘We get so much crit­i­cism about the way the town looks, it looks tired, it looks old, the build­ings are derelict ... this is an op­por­tu­nity to en­hance the town en­try.’’

Hobbs said the coun­cil was work­ing with user groups on the process.

‘‘Coun­cil looks for­ward to work­ing with the var­i­ous rel­e­vant groups and is keen to sup­port part­ner­ships and syn­er­gies that can be achieved.

‘‘Col­lab­o­ra­tion will cer­tainly play a key role in giv­ing the Toko­roa Me­mo­rial Sports­ground sur­rounds a facelift.’’

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