Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan

Support for a multipurpose facility in Alexandra is gaining momentum.

The proposed community facility was the subject of a meeting last month attended by about 20 people.

Plans are now under way to form an action group to further investigate the ideas shared at the meeting.

Alexandra Junior Basketball Club president Jolanda Williams, who attended the meeting, said she supported the plan and hoped support for it would grow.

She said a meeting to form an action group would take place at Youth Base’s new premises at the back of Centrepoint Mall on November 4 at 7pm.

The aim of the group was to “move the project forward”.

“Anybody in the community that wants to be involved [can attend],” she said.

Mrs Williams said although Alexandra had Molyneux Stadium, it was not suitable for hosting a wide range of community programmes and events.

Her aim was to help create a new facility in the same area which would cater for other activities people might want to become involved with.

She was aware of at least one other attempt by another group to establish a similar facility several years ago.

She said she hoped the people of Alexandra were now ready to support the concept, particularly individuals and groups which could back it financially.

“I’m pretty sure that this team [action group] is going to get traction – there’s steps and processes in place.

“It’s going to be a win-win for quite a few people. We want all the sporting facilities up there in one area,” Mrs Williams said.

Sport groups without their own facility at present would benefit, and new initiatives were being investigated, including a climbing wall.

Mrs Williams said the ultimate aim of the facility was to foster greater community engagement in activities.

Finer details about where the proposed site would be had yet to be discussed but the aim was to have it in the vicinity of Molyneux Stadium so all sports events could be hosted in the same area.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan, who also attended the first meeting, said there was merit in the proposed concept.

“I can certainly see the benefit of it, but I had suggested at that meeting that there are a lot of hurdles to overcome before it becomes a reality.”

He said it would be a long journey, but it could be achieved.

“The key to making big projects like this happen is to get alongside the funders right from the outset. That’s my first suggestion to them.”

He said it was also important to determine what was needed in terms of a facility and to get an idea of costs.

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