80% of funding raised
The building of a new St John station in Gore will move a step closer with a ground-breaking ceremony at the site in Charlton Rd later this month.
St John Hokonui area executive officer Vicki Kelly said the ceremony would be held on Saturday, February 18 at 10am on the site.
Construction of the station would start on February 20, she said.
St John decided to replace the building after a nationwide assessment of stations found deficiencies in the Gore building. The new station will comply with IL4 (Importance Level 4) standards, which deem an ambulance station to be essential to post-disaster recovery and require it to be able to continue
to function after a disaster.
The cost of building the 559sqm single-storey ambulance station is estimated at just under $1.5million. St John had 80% of the money for the build.
St John Hokonui area chairwoman Karen Morris said the Kaikoura earthquake, which badly damaged main roads and railway lines, resulted in higher costs to transport building materials, which increased the overall build price.
Public support for the project had been great and people had been waiting to see the next step, she said.
“So it is good to show them their donations are eventuating into something,” Ms Morris said.
She hoped support could continue.
“It’s great to actually start and do something tangible.”
St John had a long list of organisations, from Lions clubs to schools, that had made donations to the project and the service was grateful for the community’s generosity.
“The only reason we can start building is we’ve got the 80%.”
Ms Morris said St John had applied to several funders and was awaiting the result.
The service was investigating running a buy-a-brick or a plaque scheme, where family or businesses’ names would be put on the brick or plaque, she said.
The bricks would be placed in the garden and the plaques on the walls inside the building.
Other fundraising options were also being investigated.