A feasibility study investigating the provision of sports and recreation facilities in Greytown is recommending the replacement of the current Kuranui College gymnasium with a modern, purpose-built facility and the development of an integrated sports hub with three new sports fields adjacent to the college.
The report, produced by Global Leisure Group and commissioned by the Kuranui Sports Hub Project Working Group, suggests a two-stage approach to this development, reflecting the urgent need to replace the existing gymnasium following a poor earthquake assessment.
The total project costs are estimated at around $9 million, excluding expenditure on any additional land purchase. The report also recommended a submission to the South Wairarapa District Council to be a funder and owner of the new facility. The council would lease the land from the Ministry of Education and Kuranui College would have a licence to occupy the gymnasium on school days from 8.30am to 5pm. It is recommended that Greytown Sport and Leisure manage the facility outside of these hours, optimising community use of the gymnasium, sports hub and new sports fields.
The proposal would see badminton, baseball, basketball, football, futsal, hockey, netball and rugby based at the new hub, with Soldiers Memorial Park being primarily be used for cricket as well as some overflow football matches.
Kuranui College Principal Simon Fuller believes there are benefits all round for this proposed new development. “Kuranui is at the very heart of the Greytown community and this new concept gives us the opportunity to play a major role in the enhancement of sport and active recreation opportunities in the town,” he explained. “A shared indoor sports facility that is an asset for both our students and the wider community will add to the well-being of the people of the South Wairarapa across all ages.”
Jackie Gray, Executive Officer of the Greytown Community Sport and Leisure Society, agrees that this is a positive progression for Greytown and its sporting community. “We currently have 15 clubs with over 1,100 active members and bringing codes together in a shared multi-use facility would be a significant step forward,” she said. “Greytown Sport & Leisure is based on a 15-year foundation of strong collaboration across our sporting community and this is the next logical step as we prepare to meet future demand.”
Greytown Trust Lands Trust Chair Sid Kempton sees the expansion of Greytown as a major challenge going forward. “Our population is projected to increase from 2,438 residents in 2013 to 3,581 residents in 2043,” he said. “The majority of these new residents will be couples with young families and we need to provide modern sporting facilities to satisfy their requirements.
“This proposed new model would enable a more equitable distribution of the Trust’s continually stretched funds across the entire range of sporting activities taking place in our community, while also having a strong link to education.
“The report is the first step in a journey and the report now needs to be digested by a lot of groups in the community to enable us to create momentum and move forward together,” added Kempton.
A copy of the final report can be downloaded at greytowntrustlands.org.nz.