Hub playground will be ready before Christmas

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Children in Gore will get a bonus present this Christmas with the opening of a $350,000 public playground at the Gore Kids Hub.

The Gore Kids Hub Trust was not only responsible for the building of the hub, which houses the Gore Playcentre, Gore Parents Centre and Gore Toy Library, but for the building of the public playground.

Trustee Bronnie Grant said the playground was being installed this week.

It was hoped the project, which included installing play equipment and surfacing, would be completed by December 4, Mrs Grant said.

The trust still had about $34,500 to raise for the project.

“We’ve got an application in to the Lottery Facilities Fund which we find out about early December,” Mrs Grant said.

If the grant application was unsuccessful, the trust would uplift a pre-approved Community Trust of Southland interest-free loan.

“Hopefully we don’t need it,” Mrs Grant said.

The whole project cost about $1.8 million and the hub building was opened last year.

It was planned to have the playground open to the public from mid-December.

An official community opening would be held in late January, she said.

The equipment was bought from Playco and The Playground Centre, and they both used the same installer from Christchurch.

Some Gore tradespeople were also employed for the installation, she said.

Every item in the playground was unique to Gore as most were sponsored by local businesses and depicted items in the area, such as the cow carousel.

A depiction of the Mataura River would be part of the surface of the playground and there would be a swing bridge over the river, she said.

“It will also have a road.”

There was also a milk tanker and stock truck all with signage from the businesses that had sponsored the play items, she said.

Mrs Grant said the items in the playground were even better than she thought they would be.

“The equipment in real life is amazing.”

Fellow trust member Bernadette Hunt said she could not wait to see the children’s faces when they saw the new playground.

There was still an opportunity for businesses to sponsor some playground equipment.

Mrs Hunt said the trust would undergo restructuring at the end of the building project and take on a governance role instead of a building oversight role.

While the hub had enough tenants for the building, the trust would be concentrating on attracting one-off or occasional community use of the building, Mrs Hunt said.

The trust was hosting a Give Us a Hand fundraiser wall in the playground.

The wall would consist of handprints and names.

A child’s handprint would cost $50 while an adult-size print would be $100, Mrs Hunt said.