The Pāpāmoa Surf Lifesaving Club finally has finally been given the green light to start its $5.2 million rebuild.
Work to rebuild the ageing clubhouse on Pāpāmoa Beach Rd was expected to start earlier this year but the project was delayed due to a funding shortfall.
A building consent for the new facility was granted in November last year.
Now, a $100,000 donation boost from the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust has filled the coffers enough to start construction.
The latest funding from the trust took their total donation towards the project to $1m.
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Club president Andrew Hitchfield said it had taken more than a decade to get the rebuild project off the ground since initial discussions in 2007.
"We are absolutely stoked," he said. "The community has heard a lot about the build and for us to be able to put a stake in the ground and say we are starting is very exciting."
The old club building will be pulled down in mid-December and the new club is hoped to be done by September 2020.
The surf lifesaving patrol season started on Labour Weekend but Hitchfield said portable buildings would be installed for lifeguards to work from once demolition started.
"The key message from us is apart from not having a building, it is business as usual," he said.
"We knew one season was going to be disrupted. But we didn't want to delay the build. We had to proceed."
Hitchfield said the club was built in 1990 for about 100 members and was no longer big enough for its growing membership of about 800 people.
The new build will almost triple the size of the current building and will be orientated parallel to the beach.
Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club building trust chairman Jim Pearson said the building had to be demolished now for two reasons.
"One is the existing facility can't cope because of the growth.
"Plus, with the layout and the size, we just can't store the number of lifeguard IRBs and beach vehicles that we require. It is a struggle."
TECT general manager Wayne Werder said the trust was happy to fund the project and support the volunteers who helped keep the beaches safe.
"Surf lifesaving in an area like Tauranga is just absolutely critical. Given the growth in an area like this, we want people to be able to access the beach but also to be safe. It ticks every box.
"They had drained every resource they had to get it [the project] going. It is great TECT can help."
Donations towards the rebuild project include the original cornerstone fund of about $1m from the Tauranga City Council, $1m from TECT, grants from the NZ Lotteries and Lion Foundation and donations from businesses.
Funding had also come from the club's charity rebuild project.
In December last year, a 383sq m section at Lot 303 Te Wharo Dr was donated by Terrace Views to help raise money for the rebuild along with a 182sq m house built by GJ Gardner. The package fetched $480,000.
Former Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless donated $10,000 out of his own pocket and the club's neighbour, the Papamoa Beach Resort, gifted $25,000.
The fundraising will continue, however, with the club still short a few hundred thousand dollars from its full budget.
To donate, phone the Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club.