Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Surf club set to expand for Papamoa

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REBUILD: Chairman for the trust board for the Papamoa Community Surf Rescue Base Trust, Jim Pearson, is looking to rebuild.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
REBUILD: Chairman for the trust board for the Papamoa Community Surf Rescue Base Trust, Jim Pearson, is looking to rebuild.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

The Papamoa Surf Club is looking to upgrade its Surf Rescue Base to cope with the suburb's massive population growth.

The clubroom was built in 1990 when the club had 150 members. It now has 756 members.

Papamoa Community Surf Rescue Base Trust chairman Jim Pearson said the club was "bursting" at the seams.

"The current building is too small and not functional for our needs."

The new Surf Rescue Base would support the patrol of 14 kilometres of beach and Papamoa East.

"It's not a 'nice to have', it's an essential service," Mr Pearson said.

Papamoa Lifeguard Committee chairman Hamish Smith, an active lifeguard and IRB racer, said the surf club had grown "quite substantially". It was estimated the club would grow to more than 1000 members by 2020.

Mr Smith said a new surf rescue base would "let us do our job".

"We could focus our time and effort and give the best possible service to the public," Mr Smith said.

The new concept design would also have a large deck visible from the beach.

The club had three containers where some equipment was stored because space was limited. Mr Pearson said the new building would be the "right size, not too big".

"We focused on taking a look at our functional needs," he said.

He estimated the building would cost just under $4 million through fundraising, and would lodge a resource consent application in the first half of 2016. The new building would have areas for storing the rescue equipment, education and training areas, improved communication systems and first-aid facilities.

It would be about 2.5 times the current area of the building, based on advice from leading surf club advisers and potential funders.

* How to help, visit papamoabuild.org.nz/how-you-can-help

- Bay of Plenty Times

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