Phoenix rising from the Earth
The push to redevelop North Cronulla Surf Lifesaving Club has been many years in the making, but the project is now well underway.
By Adeline Teoh
If you’ve noticed the disappearance of part of the North Cronulla Surf Lifesaving Club (NCSLSC) recently, do not be alarmed. The hole in the earth means the first phase of Project Phoenix — the name of the club’s redevelopment plan — has been completed.
The $10.6 million project took about a decade to plan, with the last five years spent pursuing development approval from Sutherland Shire Council before the club appointed Lahey Constructions for the build. NCSLSC emptied the building earlier this year, including hiring professionals to package and store memorabilia from its almost-100-year history, and handed the site to Lahey in March for partial demolition.
In the coming months, the new building will emerge, “one of the biggest ventures ever undertaken by a volunteer organisation,” noted Geoff Budd, NCSLSC President.
The three-storey club will house improved lifeguard facilities, including larger training rooms, storage for lifesaving equipment and first aid rooms, as well as a swimming pool and gym. Social amenities include two function rooms and an eatery with a garden terrace.
Importantly, the club will maintain its heritage façade while the interior will be updated to meet building codes. "The existing heritage clubhouse will remain a shire icon but with modern internal facilities that will assist our members with our core business of education, training and lifesaving," Budd told The Leader in February.
Accessibility has also been a consideration with a new lift to be installed, as well as other upgrades. "The building will finally have access and facilities on all levels for those with disabilities,” Budd added.
Project Phoenix has been funded by a mixture of government grants and club sources, with $2.6 million coming from Sutherland Shire Council, $500,000 from the NSW Government, $2.9 million from the Federal Government, and NCSLSC providing $350,000 of its own funds while borrowing the remainder.
The club team has praised its members for their patience during this tough transition period without their headquarters. “The continued dedication and support of our members as we complete this long awaited and much anticipated last leg of the Project Phoenix journey is very much appreciated,” said Club Captain Dave Waugh.
Instrumental to the project has been President Geoff Budd, Deputy President Craig McKinniery and patron Warren Rennie, who Waugh recognised for their “countless hours of service”.
According to the project plan, the new club is slated to open in July 2023, barring any delays such as disruptive weather.
“I can assure you all the future will be bright for North Cronulla,” said Rennie, communicating optimistically to members. “We will see the construction of the new building and while we may experience some short-term difficulties, when the finishing line is reached our members will have club facilities that will be the envy of any club in Australia.”
Keep up to date with Project Phoenix here: www.northcronullaslsc.com.au/surf-club-redevelopment, including a time lapse recording of the redevelopment.