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Up in the air: Wakatipu Rugby Club's top-floor clubrooms

By PHILIP CHANDLER

The future of Wakatipu Rugby Club’s valuable Queenstown CBD clubrooms, if they’re bowled for an arterial road, was kicked around at its AGM this month.

The clubrooms, overlooking the club’s Recreation Ground playing field, would be doomed, along with the squash club, below, and Queenstown Memorial Centre, next door, if the location’s required for the second stage of the CBD bypass.

The council’s promised the Memorial Centre wouldn’t be demolished till a replacement was found, while a new squash facility’s in the planning at the Events Centre.

Council transport strategy manager Tony Pickard addressed the rugby club GM on possible options, but was noncommittal, club secretary Gavin Bartlett says.

‘‘There was no definite discussion about, ‘this is where the road’s definitely going to go, you’re going to lose your clubrooms and you might not have anything in place’.’’

Bartlett says at an earlier meeting, ‘‘[council] did have some option for an alternative site for the clubrooms around the Rec Ground’’.

‘‘There’s not been any specific discussions about whether that would involve just a site for the clubrooms, to be built by the club, or whether it would be a replacement clubrooms.’’

He says the club, which owns its premises and leases it from the council, relies on match-day bar takings and function hire for ‘‘a fair chunk of our income to facilitate the playing of rugby’’.

The club’s wish, if its facility’s taken, would be for a readymade replacement.

However, he says, the second-stage bypass mightn’t start till 2027.

Former Wakatipu rugby player and local councillor Craig ‘Ferg’ Ferguson says ‘‘an option could be as simple as on the other side of the Rec Ground’’.

‘‘For me, the club and the ground, wherever in the Basin, need to stay hand-in-hand.’’

A brochure for the 2017 town centre masterplan showed clubrooms on the opposite side of the Rec Ground as one option.

scoop@scene.co.nz