A just-announced $2.5 million development is set to provide a safe space for Ngongotaha's youth, four years after the village's last youth centre was forced to close.
Progress Ngongotaha has revealed plans for a new centre to be built behind the community hall off School Rd, which will include a youth centre, Scout den, and training facility for Ngongotaha netballers.
It comes less than a week after the announcement of a large scale housing development in the village.
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The land, about 50m from Ngongotaha Primary School, has been secured from the Rotorua Lakes Council on a 25-year lease, with a right of renewal for another 25 years, Progress Ngongotaha committees chairman Bob Martin said.
The centre will be called the Parawai Youth Centre of Ngongotaha.
Announcing plans for the new centre today, Martin said a feasibility study in 2000 found young people in the village were lacking a facility.
Further studies completed in 2004 and 2006 both identified a youth centre as a high priority.
Although people with a licence could drive into Rotorua to access facilities and activities, younger people were more limited in their ability to travel, he said.
"We set forth to see what we could do for youth."
From 2013 to 2014, a youth centre was run in a rented room in a commercial building in Ngongotaha. When the building was sold, organisers struggled to find another suitable premises.
In the years since, Progress Ngongotaha had been working to secure land, design a suitable building, and source funding.
Martin said the building was expected to cost about $2.5m, which would be funded through grants and donations.
The organisation had looked into grants available but had not applied for anything yet, he said.
A draft building design had been prepared, and both a structural engineer and planning consultant for the consent process had been employed.
The project still needed to get resource consent.
"A major benefit for our younger children, the chosen reserve is only 50m from Ngongotaha Primary School and they will be able to use it during daytime hours, a major win."
Martin said village adviser for Progress Ngongotaha Garryth Hall had also been heavily involved in the planning of the centre and had been an advocate for the youth of Ngongotaha for more than 15 years.
Progress Ngongotaha chief executive Lynn Benfell said the project would be a collaborative effort between the organisation and local groups that would be using the centre.
"It's about young people having a place to go."
Have your say
A public meeting will be held at Ngongotaha Community Hall at 7pm on Tuesday, March 27, to discuss the project.