Seagulls on the move

By BOB ANTHONY Jnr

WHEN you have uninterrupted views of the Terranora Lakes, you may as well make the most of them.

That's exactly what Seagulls Club is planning to do through a major refurbishment planned for later this year.

The bold plan will see the club change its configuration both internally and externally and, according to executive club manager Wayne Kendrigan, turn the club from one of convenience, to one of "destination", drawing people to it.

To be implemented in six co-ordinated stages, the project is estimated to be valued between $8 and $10 million dollars and is designed to take into account changes in smoking laws in NSW and the projected growth in the region.

"We have to start planning for the new changes to smoking regulations in the state, but at the same time come up with a plan that will allow us to carry out the renovations without causing too much disruption to the club," Mr Kendrigan said.

"The plans will also help us to be less reliant on gaming and poker machines and become more diverse in what we offer patrons.

"We need to be progressive in what we do, but still meet the needs of the community."

Under the new plans, the first stage would see all poker machines shifted to the ground level, being incorporated into one large area adjacent to the existing machines. This would then be followed with all dining areas being located upstairs.

The existing Flamingo Lounge and bar area would be replaced by a yet-to-be-determined "dining experience" that would provide patrons with views over the lakes and an outdoor balcony area for al fresco dining.

The char grill would be converted into function rooms which could also be used for nightclub purposes.

The upstairs lounge and Italian restaurant would remain, as would the Stardust Theatre. Changes are planned for the old members' reception, with the bottle shop being moved to the eastern side of the club and a coffee shop being established to service the existing Lakeview Bar area.

One of the most exciting aspects of the project according to Mr Kendrigan would be the creation of a family beer garden area where The Shed bar is now.

This are would be raised about 1.5 metres and fenced off, but would also be extended to the front of the Lakeview Bar, providing patrons with a large outdoor area to take in the views of the lake.

The road behind the club would be reduced to one lane for emergency vehicles only and there would be open undercover areas, large market umbrellas, children's playground and grassed areas, landscaping and access to the Lakeview bar. This area would also have designated smoking areas.

The club gym would be moved to an area where the existing bottle shop is, with a number of retail outlets also being relocated in the main foyer area.

The old three-storey block would then have rooms which would be for community use.

Mr Kendrigan said the changes would meet the needs of a growing num- ber of families looking for somewhere to take children in a relaxed environment. He said the entire project, which would take about five years to complete, has been enthusiastically welcomed by the staff.

According to board member Wilf Ardill, the plans would "place the club firmly in the future".

"We have had tremendous support from Norths about our plans and it is a very exciting time for the club," My Ardill said.

The plans are currently on display in the club's foyers and Mr Kendrigan invited members and the public to inspect them and provide any feedback.



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