Ro­to­tuna seeks in­vest­ment to de­velop com­mu­nity hub

Hamilton News - - Front Page - Tom Row­land

It is time for Ro­to­tuna to see some in­vest­ment be­ing put back into the lo­cal com­mu­nity — that’s the mes­sage be­ing sent to Hamil­ton City Coun­cil.

Res­i­dents say the north­east­ern Hamil­ton sub­urb lacks com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture. Dur­ing the city’s draft 10-Year Plan process, the coun­cil ap­proved $18 mil­lion to be put to­wards de­vel­op­ing a com­mu­nity hub, but the pro­posal does not in­clude a swim­ming pool.

A del­e­ga­tion from Ro­to­tuna High School spoke about the need for com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture in Ro­to­tuna. Dur­ing the 10-year plan hear­ings, stu­dent Mia Collins, 14, told the coun­cil that the com­mu­nity des­per­ately needed the hub to help Ro­to­tuna grow.

“The com­mu­nity hub and a sports park would def­i­nitely be used by our school,” Mia said.

Mia said that cur­rently stu­dents are forced to go as far as Cambridge to be able to train for dif­fer­ent sports codes due to the lack of suit­able in­fra­struc­ture in the sub­urb.

An­other RHS stu­dent, Di­akan Goven­der, said his foot­ball team was dis­ad­van­taged when com­pet­ing at na­tion­als as there are no Astroturf fa­cil­i­ties to train on in Hamil­ton.

“The whole na­tion was there from the dif­fer­ent re­gions, and they all have Astroturf to train on and our area is the only place in the coun­try that does not.”

At the hear­ings Coun­cil­lor Paula South­gate asked RHS board of trustees chair Me­gan Camp­bell if the school would be will­ing to en­ter a part­ner­ship with the coun­cil to help with the con­struc­tion of the hub. She agreed.

RHS has pre­vi­ously been in­volved in pro­vid­ing com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture, such as The Peak, a sports hall on its grounds, along with a play­ground and an up­com­ing bike track which is open to the com­mu­nity.

The YMCA char­i­ta­ble trust also raised its hand at the hear­ings to help de­velop a com­mu­nity hub.

Hamil­ton YMCA gen­eral man­ager Graeme Mead told the coun­cil they wanted to help grow Hamil­ton.

“You have a long-term plan which in­cludes look­ing at build­ing a pool in Ro­to­tuna,” Mr Mead said.

“The board from YMCA is in a cash-rich fa­cil­ity at the mo­ment. It has no debt. So we have a sub­stan­tial por­tion of money that we would like to in­vest in Hamil­ton.

“We want to be a part­ner in the devel­op­ment of pools and fa­cil­i­ties.”

Mr Mead said the fig­ure was be­tween $5 mil­lion and $7 mil­lion.

The chair of the north-east com­mu­nity trust, Katy King, spoke af­ter Mr Mead’s sub­mis­sion, and said it was a prayer an­swered that the YMCA was want­ing to help fund a swim­ming pool in the area.

“We’ve been pool­ing our money into the city’s rates for some time. It is now time to see some in­vest­ment be­ing put back into our com­mu­nity,” Ms King said. “With the gen­tle­man from YMCA, my eyes lit up when he said he wanted to in­vest in swim­ming fa­cil­i­ties.”

■ High School stu­dents de­velop an em­pire, page 5

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