Excitement is building as the new clubhouse at the Minnewasta Golf and Country Club starts to take shape.
It was two years ago this month that the former timber frame building burned to the ground. The cause was later determined to be electrical in nature.
After dealing with insurance, hammering out a design for the new clubhouse and fund raising, the walls are finally starting to go up.
"Through summer, although there was lots of building going on, it was all in-ground work. Really hard to see the progress, but essential stuff to be done," said Head Pro and General Manager, Greg Hesom. "Obviously, with the foundation and the concrete work there's always some surprises in the ground when you start digging. So yeah, that took a little longer, but now we're at the point where stuff's going above ground, so you can see progress and that's just exciting."
A soft goal of a June 1st opening has been etched out.
"Timelines are difficult on these projects and you can set all the goals you like, but you're always going to have some setbacks," said Hesom. "I'm not quite sure if we're going to reach that goal, but I know Triple E Developments and all their subcontractors are working really hard to try and do what they can to get us in there as early as possible."
He admitted, it would be nice to have clubhouse open in time for the many fund-raising tournaments the Club hosts each summer.
"It would be wonderful. Everybody has been so patient with having suppers in the tent and all that kind of stuff. And I mean, for our restaurant services, that's not easy either. So, I know with the progress that's now being made, everybody can see the end goal. So, if we have to do another tournament season in the tents, so be it, but I think everybody can see what we're working towards, and it will be wonderful to host those tournaments in that beautiful space."
In order to pay for the $5 million project, estimated at the start of this year, the Club will rely on a $3 million insurance payout with fund raising making up the difference, including various grants.
"Fund raising will be ongoing, and the community has been just ever so generous. Obviously, you hit roadblocks every now and again. Not everybody understands what golf all is about and what a draw card to the community that it is, what it does for the community." Educating the public on this is something Hesom says the Board wants to focus on in the future. "I know that's going to be opening us up a little bit, but yeah, just for people to understand exactly what that golf course means and does for more than the surrounding area."
For example, noted Hesom, those annual fund-raising tournaments that pick Minnewasta as their host.
"There's approximately $500,000 that gets raised from those tournaments and that goes directly back into our community," he explained. "So, yeah, really want people to realize, even if they're not interested in golf or think it's something for just a few people, it really isn't it. It touches the whole community."
As for what he's most excited to enjoy when the project is complete, Hesom says it's the view people will get from inside.
"When we looked at doing this new clubhouse, (we said) what can we do to take advantage of the view? And now that the Timbers and the basic walls are up, you can see where the entrance is, and I think our goal has been made. As you walk into that club house, you're going to catch a glimpse of that view through all the front windows and the further into it you go, just the bigger that vista is going to become. So, that to me is really exciting."
With files from Robyn Wiebe
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