The 85-year-old North Wollongong Surf Club building will receive a much-needed makeover after Wollongong City Council agreed to a tender to refurbish the ageing structure last night.
Built in 1936, the refurbishment will be sympathetic to the clubhouse's long history, and the fact it's a local heritage item that sits alongside the State heritage-listed North Beach Precinct.
Key to the upcoming project is the construction of a new seawall in front of the building.
The existing crib lock wall was not designed for coastal wave protection and doesn’t extend to the northern end of the building.
"This is a big project to undertake and it's important we not only ensure our surf life saving volunteers have an accessible, safe and functional building to use as a base, but that this important asset is suitably protected from challenging sea conditions," said Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery.
"The $10.5 million tender that has been awarded tonight will allow work to get underway at the finish of the 2020-2021 swim season and I know many in our community will be pleased to see this much-needed refurbishment completed.
"The teams will be working hard to get it wrapped up with as little disruption as by possible within this popular area, and in time for the arrival of the UCI Road World Championships to Wollongong," Cr Bradbery said.
The works to the building and the seawall will start in April and are due to be finished by mid-2022.
The work will be undertaken simultaneously, with the seawall project broken down into two stages to minimise the project footprint on North Wollongong Beach.
The seawall works, which have been partly funded by a $4.2 million grant from the NSW Government's NSW Coastal and Estuary Grants program, are a requirement under the building’s Development Consent with the site considered at extreme risk of coastal erosion by 2050.
"The stepped design will provide the double benefit of offering the building and beachfront protection from large seas and harsh surf conditions, as well as some of the best seats in the house to watch a North Beach sunrise," the Lord Mayor said.
Once this project has been completed, Council will look to finalise a timeframe for the second stage of seawall works in the precinct.
This work will see the construction of a new seawall running south from the Surf Life Saving Club to the North Beach Bathers Pavilion.
Images: WCC, North Wollongong SLSC and Google Maps