Waitaki Boys’ High School’s broken and cracked tennis courts are set to get a $390,000 revamp with new multi-purpose turf.
The turf will cover four tennis courts, at the back of the school, which had been in dire need of an upgrade for more than 10 years, and will feature multiple basketball and tennis courts.
The upgrade is being funded through a series of grants and school fundraising, including $270,000 from the Ministry of Education school investment package, $100,000 from the Otago Community Trust, $20,000 from the Darcy Christopher Fund and money raised from the school’s recent Blokes Shed Tour.
Waitaki Boys’ rector Daryl Paterson said he was ecstatic to receive the significant amount of funding from the Otago Community Trust, which was needed to get the project under way.
“Wow – fantastic. We thought we might get some funding but . . . that’s the most significant grant we’ve had from a licensing trust like that, I think,” Mr Paterson said.
“We’re really thankful.”
It was hoped construction could begin by the end of the year, but contractors and quotes were yet to be finalised.
The new turf would provide an alternative area for physical education classes, and for sports teams to practise, when the school fields were too wet.
“I would imagine rugby teams and cricket teams, when it’s too wet, can use it as fielding practice, and ball skills for rugby.”
It will probably be suitable for hockey and football, but designs are still being finalised.
It would also be available for community sporting groups and other schools to use, Mr Paterson said.
The site was quite run down at present, and the new turf development would help lift that area of the school, he said.
It could also benefit to the school’s Don House hostel.
“It will also lift our hostel as well, because the hostel facilities are getting quite tired, and we’re looking to lift that side of the school as well, and that’s a big challenge for us to increase the hostel numbers, and they’ll obviously be able to use it 24/7, because it’s on their doorstep.”
Waitaki Boys’ sports co-ordinator Paula Symes was one of the driving forces behind getting the turf project, and fundraising, off the ground.
Mrs Symes said the bid for the turf received great support from the community, and she looked forward to seeing it utilised.