Wellington City Council ($1,745,000) and Lottery Community Facilities Fund ($500,000) have both approved significant investments into Johnsonville's Alex Moore Park Building complex over the last week with the building on the park likely to be a reality by the winter months of 2017.
The complex, designed to improve support and services for anyone using Alex Moore Park, was first raised as a concept at public meetings held some 10 years ago. The idea was that all sports and communities using the park combine into one "Sportsville" project was radical at that time but now considered best practice by WCC.
The Alex Moore Park Board (AMPB) formed six years ago has progressed the idea from a concept, through the resource consent process and now into funding the community complex that is estimated will cost $5.2 million.
Chairman of AMPB - Hadyn Smith, is thrilled that the project is now halfway towards reality. "No stand-alone club can afford to exist in isolation today so my hat goes off to those that had the vision in Johnsonville so long ago, and WCC and Lotteries for recognising that this is what our community needs if we are to resource and grow usage around features such as the new artificial turf.
"This is only the start of our fund raising campaign but it is just the backing we needed to get people to understand that this building is no longer just an idea. This project will be a reality and with over three million dollars, when the sale of existing clubrooms in Philip Street is realised, in the bank this is a huge level of seed funding for any development. We are extremely grateful to WCC and Lotteries for their recognition of the value of our project to this community."
Wellington City Council Chair of Community, Sport & Recreation - Councillor Paul Eagle, was impressed with what the building represents for the Northern Suburbs and believes the city will be getting value for its investment.
"WCC has been a part of this concept from the outset and with a growing population demographic and five clubs coming together as one then the combination is something we considered vital to support. We canâ€™t wait to see a building in place that will add life to the growing level of activity that is taking place on and around Alex Moore Park since the artificial turf was launched last year."
Wellington City Council Deputy Mayor - Justin Lester, has been a fierce supporter of the concept and sees this development as a model for others in the city.
"WCC has limited ability to resource every great idea but if sports can buy into the power of one from many then Sportsville will be the answer for many. Not every project can or will be funded but critical mass will help some ideas stand out and that is the case with this development. We like what is planned and hope our funding will turn into a domino effect for the final build."
With two major funders confirmed it is now a priority for AMPB to ensure the many and varied private investors and commercial opportunities are progressed. That is now a key objective for the coming months of 2015 and beyond.
The 2,100 square metre facility will incorporate a hall/gymnasium, meeting rooms and function areas and is configured to cater for a large variety of sporting, recreation and community uses.
Chairman, Alex Moore Park Board