Final push for community house

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Wanaka Community House Trust has received a boost of half a million dollars, says chairwoman Dame Sukhi Turner.

The grant comes from the Lotteries Community Facilities Fund, bringing the total amount raised by the trust to $2.8million.

The building was going through the tendering process, but Dame Sukhi said the build cost was estimated to be $3.8million.

“Just to make sure, because we could have cost overruns, just for contingencies etc.”

The trust had been working on the project since 2011, and with building expected to begin in August, this was the “final leg”, Dame Sukhi said.

“Now we’ve got to concentrate on the funding from the community.

“We want to actually get all the people in our community to be aware of what is happening and contribute in some little or big way – whatever they can afford to give to a facility that is going to be so special for the whole community.”

She said the Alexandra Community House would be a benchmark for running the new house.

“We’ve had a lot of mentoring from the Alexandra Community House, and they’ve helped in many ways.”

Being able to provide affordable space for not-for-profit organisations was central to the aim, and the house was nearly full already, Dame Sukhi said.

“We’ve got about 65 organisations now who’ve expressed an interest.”

The house would be self-sustaining once it opened, and would offer affordable rents to community groups, she said.

A final push for fundraising was planned over the next few months, and included a black tie event.

“We want everybody involved, schools, grassroots, because this is going to be such an important heart of the community once it gets pumping.”

People who wish to contribute can visit wanakacommunityhouse.org.nz/make-a-donation