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Aurecon provides expertise to help life saving club

Sumner Surf Life Saving Club in Christchurch

Sumner Surf Life Saving Club in Christchurch

25 June 2013 – Demolition of the Sumner Surf Life Saving Club in Christchurch is scheduled to begin on Saturday, June 29, with organisers hoping to have a new pavilion built next year.

The club, situated on its current site since the 1950s, was irreparably damaged by the 2011 earthquakes with patrols last summer operating from a portacom and container.

Plans are for a largely ground level building with a patrol room above to give lifeguards an unobstructed 180-degree view of the beach.

Engineering work is being undertaken by Aurecon as part of its community investment programme and was initiated by one of its graduate surveyors, Luke Keats, who is a Senior Lifeguard in the club.

Richard Anderson, a surveyor at Aurecon, said there was a lot of interest in the development.

“It’s really seen as a ‘gateway’ building to the Sumner village and is an important community asset. It also sits along the path of the proposed coastal pathway project, which has required some planning to accommodate future needs. Aurecon has pulled together teams across several sectors to provide planning and surveying, plus traffic, geotechnical, structural engineering and building services.”

A sophisticated ground analysis was undertaken to check potential damage in future large earthquakes and associated risks.

“Our structural engineers have looked at soil structure interaction and adopted what we believe is an innovative, cost effective foundation solution that ensures resilience if there are future earthquakes.”

Anderson said the site was particularly challenging as it was located on Crown land, within a Council managed reserve and was susceptible to coastal hazards and a harsh coastal environment. All these factors had to be accounted for in the design process.

“While the club has been on this site for many years, we are taking the opportunity to formalise lease arrangements with the Crown. This requires some research into the history of the site the club is built on to confirm its status as Crown land and requires sign off from the Commissioner of Crown lands,” Anderson said.

A resource consent would be lodged with Christchurch City Council shortly. David Hill, of Wilson & Hill Architects, said the new single pavilion was designed to not only meet the needs of the Surf Lifesaving Club but so that it could function as a community facility.

An entry directly onto Main Rd provides a ‘public’ entry to the building. The existing clock is retained and incorporated into this entry element.

“It is sited in a similar location as the existing building but located slightly off the street boundary to allowing for some landscaping between it and the road. The building is made up of three ‘forms’ running parallel to the beach with each having a curved roof,” Hill said.

The proposed exterior materials are concrete panels and cedar timber left to weather naturally.

Blair Quane, chairman of club’s rebuild committee, said it was a pivotal focus for the community. 

“It’s a popular destination throughout summer, with about 120 children participating in weekend programmes. Many of them progress to become surf lifesavers, all of whom work voluntarily.

“The club is well into fundraising but we’re still looking for support from anyone in the community who would like to help fund the project.”

The surf club has been working with the Christchurch City Council which owns the toilet block adjacent to the club rooms and have organised the demolition to be executed together to minimise disruption to the community. The demolition is being undertaken by Texco.

Mayor Bob Parker said that while demolishing buildings was always sad, in this case it was a real sign of progress.

“The surf club will soon be starting on the rebuild of new club facilities and toilets and this is good news for the people of Sumner. And although it’s sad to lose the old buildings, the historic clock and bell from the old club will be incorporated into the new club providing a tangible link to the past."

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