FIRMIN Lodge is near completion as final tidy up work occurs at the new Kawerau multi-use, dormitory-style facility.

Kawerau District Council events and venues manager Lee Barton said the former rugby clubroom had been developed into an accommodation block.

Developments at the Waterhouse Street venue cost $730,000 – $145,500 less than council’s initial budget of $875,500.

Firmin Lodge includes eight bunkrooms and 60 beds, a new kitchen and an ablution block.

There is also an open space for dining use and that could be used for workshops, or as a space for schools to use for the day that excludes accommodation.

Established outside would be a motor home station with 24-hour access and power points.

Mr Barton said the building development was a product of Kawerau rugby clubs amalgamating in 2007 and it no longer being used for that purpose.

The building was a rugby clubroom until 2012, when it became a base for the town’s K-Fit community fitness group and kayaking and rafting groups.

In 2014, the council agreed to buy the site from Kawerau Sports Club and develop it to attract visitors and events.

With growth in adventure sport in the district, the council identified the Firmin Field facility was well-positioned to become an accommodation space.

At a regulatory and services committee meeting on Wednesday, councillors discussed the anticipated use by sports groups now the facility was near completion.

Mr Barton said he was looking for the most cost-effective way to attract groups to use the facility.


Source: Whakatane Beacon