Omakau Community Facilities Feasibility Study – Progress Update - December 2017
Community feedback is shaping the direction of the feasibility study on public-use spaces in Omakau.
Consultant Global Leisure Group (GLG) has been recruited by a community working group to investigate options for the development of Omakau's community facilities to meet current and future needs for the township and the wider rural communities. Both of Omakau's larger community venues – the Omakau Memorial Hall and Rugby Clubrooms – are aging and in need of significant expenditure. GLG is tasked with identifying what type(s) of facilities would meet the community needs while still being 'affordable' for residents.
GLG has reached out to the community to understand key issues, such as current availability, usage and ongoing demand for public-use spaces. Feedback from community and user-group surveys, drop-in sessions at Omakau, and meetings with stakeholder groups and community representatives, has determined two distinct messages:
- The community wants one multi-purpose, multi-use 'hub' facility; and
- There is a desire for modern public toilets in Omakau's retail area.
Investigations determined that trying to sustain both the Hall and the Clubrooms will be very costly (both in redevelopment and ongoing maintenance), and would continue the current duplication of facilities. A new build of a single facility will be more cost-effective over the life-span of the facility, and will bring together community activities.
Suggestions for what should be within this facility included: a flexible multi-purpose space that could seat up to 150-200 people, but can also be separated into smaller spaces; a moveable stage; good indoor/outdoor flow; and access to technology such as Wi-Fi, data projection and video conferencing capabilities. Indoor sporting activity space was also requested, as well as options for services such as childcare or a fitness studio.
GLG is now moving into the second phase of the feasibility study, which will include costings, a sketched layout, and development of an operating and management structure for the proposed facility. The report will be completed for public presentation early next year.
Working group member Colin Stevenson said the group awaited the presentation of the report and cost estimates for the recommendations along with the suggested designs. "We will review this and, with further community consultation, discuss if it is affordable and whether it delivers the various needs of the community," Mr Stevenson said.
"Any new community hub would need to be designed so that it is being utilised all the time and that there are opportunities for commercial and the local community that are not currently available."
- If any members of the community would still like to discuss the proposal, make a late submission or offer any suggestions in the interim, they are welcome to contact Mr Stevenson on 027 855 9911.