The Scottish management committee has appointed a working group to give advice on future options for use of the clubhouse. The members of the working group are Lucy Fauth, Andy Ford, and Simon Keller. Submit your feedback at the link below and go into a draw to win one of three $50 Shoe Clinic vouchers.
The working group is seeking submissions from club members on any issues or suggestions related to the project. Below we give a brief summary of the background and what we have learned so far.
The clubhouse was built in 1970 and extensively refurbished in 2009-10. It was built and has been maintained through donations and voluntary labour from club members. For most of its life, it has been the centre of the club’s activities and a second home for many club members. Since 2010, the clubhouse has been occupied by the Poneke Kyokushin Karate Dojo. The dojo pays Scottish to use the building for most of the week, leaving it available to Scottish for Saturday afternoon club runs and other club events.
Our use of the clubhouse has declined over the past ten years. We now use it only for Saturday club runs and the Three Peaks series, and for storing club equipment, memorabilia, and documents. Saturday club runs from the clubhouse regularly attract 30-40 club members. Most members of the club never attend events at the clubhouse, however, and at a typical Saturday club run, almost all attendees are either members of the J-Team or aged over 50.
The decline in use of the clubhouse is not indicative of a decline in activity in the club as a whole. The club holds regular runs and workouts elsewhere: Saturday morning workouts at the track or Karori Park, Tuesday night workouts at the waterfront, Thursday night trail runs, and Sunday morning runs from Freyberg Pool, among many others.
The clubhouse is in good condition for a building of its type. As part of the normal process of maintaining the clubhouse, several large jobs will need to be done over the next few years, probably including excavations into the bank behind the back wall and replacing or reinforcing the floor on the second level, and perhaps also replacing the roof.
The clubhouse is on the town belt. Scottish owns the building and rents the land from the Wellington City Council. Our present ground lease is due for renewal in January 2024. Under the terms of the lease, all use of the clubhouse and any change in occupancy or ownership must be consistent with the mission of the town belt and must be approved by council. This greatly restricts our ability to make money through rental or a sale.
The clubhouse is a net source of income for the club. Over the past five years, the clubhouse has given us a net annual income of between $2000 and $8000, varying with our maintenance and other expenses. Our net income from the clubhouse has been declining, however. With our insurance costs increasing, and the need for new maintenance work, under the present arrangement the clubhouse is likely soon to become a net financial cost to the club.
There are many underused community clubhouses and similar facilities in Wellington, and many community organisations trying to gain rental income from their clubhouses; the market does not favour owners. At this stage, we have not identified any possibilities for increasing our rental income from the clubhouse, but we have spoken to several other community organisations who would be keen for us to rent space from them. The council has offered to help us as much as they can in finding new tenants, or in finding an alternative home for the club, depending on what we prefer.
Challenges and opportunities
The big question is whether Scottish should keep the clubhouse.
If we keep the clubhouse, then we face the following questions.
- How can we increase our usage of the clubhouse?
- Are we prepared to put general club funds towards maintenance and other clubhouse costs?
- Can we find a different occupancy arrangement?
If we do not keep the clubhouse, then we face the following questions.
- What benefits would be club gain from holding events in a different location, with different facilities?
- Can we come to an arrangement with the council that would allow us to sell or leave the clubhouse?
- Should we try to find another permanent home, perhaps by renting space from another club or the council?
– Should we instead not have a permanent home, organising events at different venues each time?
After consultation with Scottish members and discussions with the council, the dojo, and other relevant parties, the working group will present a set of options to the management committee. The working party hopes to report by the end of October. The management committee will make all decisions, and will work to ensure that all future arrangements are made on the best financial terms possible.
How to make submissions
We are also open to submissions in other forms, and very happy to answer any questions as best we can; please contact the working group at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always open to feedback but would be grateful to receive submissions by 12 August.
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