22 October 2014
Kellett Island Development
It gives me great pleasure to finally write to inform you that a contractor has been appointed for the Kellett Island Development and we will be breaking ground in early November, marking the start of a two-year construction programme.
As mentioned in past communications, the development programme improves and expands both our member facilities and those provided for our staff, as well as the back of house facilities required for a club of our size. The planning, evolution of the design and overall process have taken longer than we would ideally have liked, but this was unavoidable and we are confident that it will be worth waiting for and will provide the facilities the Club will require for generations to come.
Part of the planning process has been to ensure that the Club remained financially secure throughout the development and as such the General Committee and Finance Committee very carefully evaluated the options available and have chosen a prudent yet exciting plan and programme.
The first stage will be to construct a new building on the site of the current Ship Shop and the adjacent space to it that will house a new Ship Shop, sail locker storage, squash courts and gymnasium for members and new back of house, changing and canteen facilities for staff, together with new storage for boatyard and house equipment. At the same time we will begin the construction of the new central Clubhouse kitchen and the first part of new changing rooms for men and women, Reception, squash courts and men’s changing rooms, and new member and staff lifts in the current Bistro Courtyard. When the first half of the new changing rooms is available for use we will close the existing men’s and ladies’ changing rooms and gymnasium and complete their conversion into the remainder of the new changing rooms and kitchen. This first stage will take approximately 12 months to complete.
Once the first stage is complete and the new kitchen is operational we will close the existing Bistro kitchen (which is located between the turning circle and the Bistro) and begin the transformation of that area into a new Clubhouse Reception, Bistro Bar and additional indoor and outdoor seating for the Bistro restaurant. The Bistro will remain open for members and their guests to use throughout the duration of the project.
The General Committee recognises that the current plan does not deliver all that we would have liked to achieve in the first phase of the master plan, however, as mentioned in the various presentations to members, the new building site’s proximity to the Central Wan Chai Bypass and Shatin to Central Link Rail Tunnel works means that in order to be prudent we need to ensure a healthy contingency within the cashflow to allow for unforeseen eventualities.
Whilst we must be prepared for these, it is hoped that with all the ground investigation work and detailed planning that has taken place in advance, there will not be too many surprises once construction commences and we will therefore not need all of the contingency to deal with them.
After careful negotiation with the contractor and consultants, they have extended the validity of the overall tender package for the full development plan and we expect to be able to award additional elements of the master plan in March next year after the initial foundations of the building over the tunnel have been completed and finances can be reassessed. These will include the new building at the current Waterside and further development of the Bowling Alley area.
If we construct the building at the Waterside it will allow us to locate the gymnasium there, with a view over the harbour, together with additional children's facilities and a new Bowling Alley, and to convert the current Bowling Alley space into new meeting and function rooms with views along the western harbour.
These are exciting times ahead for the Club and I am sure that we will all appreciate the improvements and facilities created at the end of the two year project.
But as with all developments there will be some disruptions and we need to be prepared for these. The Club will remain open throughout and careful logistics planning will aim to minimise the disruption. We have created a new page on the Club's website that will provide regular and detailed updates and we will of course keep you informed through regular email updates.
The initial impact will come through a reduction in the available car park spaces. As I am sure everyone appreciates we cannot construct a new building without taking over parking spaces, but this will be kept to a minimum. We will keep matters under review but the impact on car parking will be greatest during the first four months whilst the foundations of the new building are being constructed. As such, committees have agreed that guest parking will not be allowed on Saturdays at all or on weekends or public holidays before 1800hrs during those initial four months. The current overflow parking in the boatyard will however continue to be available on race days, but during the first phase, access will only be via the emergency gate at the end of Hung Hing Road.
The other area affected initially will be the children’s playground which will be closed in order for the Waterside to be given over to the contractors as a works area for the construction of the new kitchen, access to which will be through the adjacent squash court wall.
In closing I would just like to say a huge thank you to all the committee and working group members who have given their time to bring this development to fruition and to ask all members to be patient during construction, keep using the facilities that will remain open throughout and to look forward to a bigger and better Clubhouse for us all to enjoy in the years ahead.