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SIMON.HENDERSON

@thenews.co.nz

Sweaty socks and muddy boots might be banished to the back rooms as the Upper Clutha Rugby Club is transformed into the Pembroke Pavilion.

Little remains of the old ’80s building, replaced with a bright, modern interior and a schist stone veneer.

Club captain Nathan Simon said the old building was “very tired” but now it “sings” with style.

The renovations, costing about $900,000, included extending and earthquake strengthening, making it almost “a completely new building.”

The renovated facility would make life more comfortable for rugby teams, with expanded changing rooms, new shower blocks, coach and referee rooms.

Teams like Otago and the Waratahs were starting to use the club at times, so the new facilities were a big improvement, he said.

With about 250 members in the junior teams, the extra space would be welcomed on busy days, he said. The social rooms have been extensively renovated, with a larger space, commercial kitchen and bar facilities. The club aims to promote the venue as available for functions.

“We are calling it the Pembroke Pavilion.”

The club was nicknamed the Pavilion when it was built in the ’80s, so that name was kept as “a bit of history”, with Pembroke – a former name for Wanaka – added.

It was “a hard push to say we are going to get married in the rugby club”, but this was one venue where there would be little to complain about.

“We have got a couple of weddings booked in, and we are going to be doing a lot of conferences.”

Mr Simon was grateful for the groups and individuals who had helped make the renovations possible.

Work was progressing to be finished in time for their game against the Cromwell Goats on May 25.

Although there was a lot to do “it all comes together in the last 24 hours”.