Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club to reopen after $7M redevelopment and further year-long delay

The surf club is expected to be formally recoccupied in the first week of November. Picture: Chris Lane
The surf club is expected to be formally recoccupied in the first week of November. Picture: Chris Lane

Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club is about to reopen after a $7 million redevelopment and a further year-long delay due to the need to run a new water pipe from a main in Surf Lane for fire protection purposes.

And, in a ground-breaking move, Cronulla RSL Memorial Club has been appointed to manage private bookings and catering for the surf club's upgraded function facilities. The new entity is called Esplanade Events.

Club president Chris Giles advised members major works to connect the building's fire hydrant to the main was completed in October.

Club president Chris Giles in new facilities, which were completed a year ago, but haven't been able to be be used. Picture: John Veage

Club president Chris Giles in new facilities, which were completed a year ago, but haven't been able to be be used. Picture: John Veage

"Our fire engineer has also finalised his report which has been submitted and so it now falls to the private certifier to finalise his work and issue the occupancy certificate," he said.

" At this stage, we are planning to formally reoccupy the building in the first week of November.

"This will include, commencing to issue fobs to members, opening the storage, changeroom and gym facilities to our members and recommencing both our Friday night and Sunday bars.

"This will also coincide nicely with the start of the Nippers [on November 7] and Sunday races.

"I can't wait to welcome you all into our 'new' home.

"As we will be still living with considerable COVID restrictions during November as we reoccupy the building, there will be restrictions to paths of access and the number of people that can access the facility at any given time.

"We will also need to provide marshals to confirm that people have checked in to the building and that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19."

Mr Giles said Surf Life Saving Sydney had recently adopted a vaccination policy, which would guide the club's approaches.

"Until 1 December, this policy will ensure that members aged 16 and over will only be able to access club activities and facilities once they are fully vaccinated," he said.

" In addition, SRC and Bronze Holders under 16, are only permitted to patrol if they are fully vaccinated.

"With these added restrictions, we will see some other changes to our COVID patrolling rules including removing the cap on the number of members on patrol and allowing members from outside the Sutherland Shire LGA to begin patrolling."

Mr Giles told the Leader club members were very excited.

"It's been a long period, but the quality of the new facilities will be amazing for them," he said.

The balcony leading from the Purcell Room at the northern end of the club. Picture: John Veage

The balcony leading from the Purcell Room at the northern end of the club. Picture: John Veage

Mr Giles said the club was managing the financial pressure.

"It's a tight fiscal environment we are in because COVID has been challenging for everyone," he said.

"Our tenants [Cronulla Sports Pavilion and Zimzala cafe-restaurant] have been impacted and we have been helping them out from a rent perspective.

"We will get through it. We had to take out additional finance about six months ago, but within these bounds our financial situation is pretty sound."

The redevelopment provides two modern function areas for the use of club members as well as private hire.

They are the Purcell Room with outdoor terrace at the northern end and the hall / ballroom with new eastern balcony overlooking the beach.

"Bookings for private hire can be made now," Mr Giles said.

"We have formed a partnership with Cronulla RSL, who are our function managers, and everything, including fully catered options, will be run through them."

Prime Minister and Cook MP Scott Morrison is expected to officially open the club redevelopment in early 2022.

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