Approximately 70 members recently attended an update evening on Tuesday 26 February to hear Commodore Greg Mason present a thorough summary of the renovation project to date and the challenges ahead, while Rear Commodore Caroline Crane presented an overview on the status of funding.
The main points from the presentation included:
1. Renovation Rationale – The key drivers of the renovation project remain unchanged and include: an overdue remediation of the ageing building infrastructure; an under-utilised downstairs area; necessary kitchen and storeroom improvements; and antiquated change rooms and bathroom facilities. Due to an ageing demographic, the Club also needs to offer an all-weather, family-friendly and more casual dining facility – the downstairs renovation of the clubhouse will support this important goal.
2. Council DA Approved – While the Club was successful in achieving a DA approval with no design changes in early 2018, the Council took the opportunity to impose operating hours on the Club for the first time in its long history. These operating hours consist of closing times of 12 midnight inside and 10pm outside but are reviewable back to 10pm inside and 8pm outside, should the renovation of the Clubhouse lead to a loss of amenity in the neighbourhood as measured by neighbours’ sustainable and justifiable complaints. Enactment of the reviewable hours would entail a rigorous review process over a period of time. An appeal to remove these reviewable operating hours was sought by the Club, however this was rejected by the Local Planning Panel following several neighbours’ objections.
3. Preferred Builder Selected – In parallel, the General Committee undertook a competitive tender process to select a builder in late 2018. Our preferred builder submitted a fixed price of $2.185m for the whole renovation project based on a start date of mid-May this year and completion by September. This is a ~$700k increase on the original estimate in early 2017 due to increased project scope as a result of member feedback on the design and a 2-year delay since the indicative costings were first provided. The Committee estimates a further $425k in add-on costs will be required to cover items not included in the construction contract such as contingencies, professional fees, and temporary office and sailing facilities while the clubhouse is closed. The contract has not been signed at this point.
4. Next Steps – The Committee has considered various go-forward options which include:
A. Proceeding with the current DA including the reviewable operating hours.
B. Appealing to the Land & Environment Court regarding the reviewable hours.
C. Deferring and/or adjusting the whole project.
Subject to successful financing, the Committee supports Option A
5. Fundraising Challenge – To enable the project to be completed this winter, we have limited time to raise the required funds. In total, the Club has access to $1.43m through a combination of member donations to date ($624k from 125 members), accumulated development levy ($206k) and operating cash on hand as at the end of this financial year ($600k estimate). This implies a ~$1.2m shortfall to meet the total project cost. However, the additional funds required to commence construction in May is approximately $1m, given some of the additional or optional items can be delayed if required.
Following the presentation, the Q&A session with members extended to over 25 questions and comments from the floor. The overwhelming preference from the members present was that the Club should accept the current DA with reviewable operating hours and press on with the fundraising and renovation this coming winter. Many fundraising ideas were also raised by members on the night, and these will be considered by the Committee as we go forward.
The Committee remains fully committed to this renovation project to help ensure the sustainable future of the REPYC for the next 100 years. More information will be available in coming weeks.
A copy of the presentation can be downloaded below:
Any member who wishes to make a tax-deductible donation via the ASF website:www.asf.org.au/projects/royal-prince-edward-yacht-club
Any queries from members can be directed to the undersigned.
Greg Mason – Commodore
Adrian Broadbent – Vice Commodore
Caroline Crane – Rear Commodore
Chris Gosselin – Development Committee Chair
Information including Development Applications and Meetings may also be viewed in the members information section of the website