Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club president Les Pepper and Jim Philippidis from Solitary Designer Homes who has donated his time as project manager for the $4m build.
Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club president Les Pepper and Jim Philippidis from Solitary Designer Homes who has donated his time as project manager for the $4m build.

REVEALED: We take a look inside new $4m clubhouse

On time and on budget - just waiting for the worst of the Coronavirus crisis to pass.

That's the situation with the new Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Clubhouse; all ready for its grand opening.

A wedding booked for Easter had to be cancelled, but its fingers crossed for doors to be officially opened for the September school holidays.

The $4m build has been a labour of love for countless volunteers including Woolgoolga SLSC President Les Pepper and Jim Philippidis, owner of Solitary Designer Homes.

The new bar area.
The new bar area.

For the past 12 months Jim has donated his time as project manager.

"I talk to Jim more than my wife sometimes," Les laughed.

Hearing them chat and share a few jokes it's clear their friendship and dedication to the community has been a key to the project's success.

"On time and on budget, you don't get that very often," Les said.

 

The new surf club's grand entrance.
The new surf club's grand entrance.

The surfclub has been built to withstand the elements for up to 60 years.

"We got the money to do it and that wasn't going to come again, so we haven't spared any expense. It's been expensive but it's worth it. If you build on the cheap you only have to do it again later."

Funds have come from all three tiers of government.

One of the most striking features, other than the view from the main function/bar area upstairs, is the old wooden surf boat suspended above the kitchen.

"What Les wants, Les gets," Jim said, rolling his eyes.

 

An old wooden surf boat suspended above the kitchen.
An old wooden surf boat suspended above the kitchen.

Over 30-years-old it had been stored in the roof of the old clubhouse and the intention was to use it as the bar, but that didn't work out.

Downstairs is the patrol room and first-aid room and the huge garage/storage area. The kiosk is also downstairs and this will be rented out.

It's anticipated the new clubhouse will improve response times at the beach which has seen a drowning and a number of close calls.

"At the moment the jet ski is locked in a container behind the old clubhouse and some of the equipment is stored in people's garages but with it all here in one spot the response will be much quicker."

 

The kiosk downstairs will be rented out.
The kiosk downstairs will be rented out.

The main entrance, with a staircase and lift, features large light shades and a restored surf life saving reel that Les estimates to be about 40-years-old.

"I used one of those when I got my bronze (medalian) in 91."

He has been the president of the club, which has about 150 senior members and 250 juniors, for 23 years.

"I was one of those surfers who used to give the 'clubies' a bit of a hard time but I joined because of my daughter and became one myself.

"Now I have a nine-year-old granddaughter in Nippers so it's gone a complete circle."

 

Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club president Les Pepper.
Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club president Les Pepper.

The new clubhouse is on the spot where the Marine Rescue building once stood. A new Marine Rescue Woolgoolga base was built on Arrawarra Headland and it officially opened late last year.

The old surf clubhouse just north of the new building will soon be demolished.