St Kilda LSC volunteers were joined by local member for Albert Park and Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley, City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss and numerous local supporters, in celebrating the official opening of the club’s new $5.5 million home on Saturday 11 February.
The fit-for-purpose clubhouse is a significant upgrade for the club and includes a new patrol tower with a better view of the beach, larger training facilities, a large function space, a first aid room and improved storage.
“This impressive new facility is a big win for our community, visitors and the Club’s dedicated volunteer lifesavers,” said Cr Voss.
As well as delivering improved resources for beach patrols, the new clubhouse includes a Changing Places facility, to improve disability access to the beach and foreshore.
Changing Places are larger than standard accessible toilets and have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with a disability. It is Victoria’s first public facility of its kind by the bay.
“Having a disability shouldn’t preclude anyone from participating in their community and enjoying beautiful attractions such as St Kilda Beach,” Mr Foley said.
LSV General Manager Lifesaving Club Development, Andrew Foran, is confident of the positive impact the new clubhouse will have for St Kilda LSC.
“This project is a great example of LSV and the state and local Governments working together with the community, to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that will support not only the local lifesaving club, but the wider St Kilda community well into the future,” he said.
St Kilda LSC President Jeanette Lambert said the club, which was established more than a century ago, was at risk of closing if the ageing, former facility had not been demolished to made way for the redeveloped clubhouse.
“We have grown from 65 to 84 members in just a few weeks since we started operating from the new building and we are now looking towards a bright future – and hopefully another 100 years to come,” Ms Lambert said.
The modern building was made possible with funding from City of Port Phillip ($3.7 million), the Victorian Government, through LSV’s capital works program ($1 million), the Stokehouse ($725,000) and St Kilda LSC contributions ($100,000).
Images provided thanks to City of Port Phillip.