The New Town Rowing Club is rising like a phoenix from piles of rubbish on reclaimed land that has breathtaking mountain and river views to rival any in the city.
The massive new structure, funded through $2.5 million federal grant under Julia Gillard’s government, is cementing the future of rowing in the South of the state, Buckingham Rowing Club captain Gordon Stewart said.
The new building houses up to 200 rowing shells 12-20m long that belong to five rowing clubs, including Buckingham, the Tasmania University Boat Club, St Virgil’s and the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.
It replaces three run-down sheds built on gravel and suffering subsidence.
Mr Stewart said the club was an asset to the wider community and made rowing more accessible.
“It’s a top little spot,” he said.
“I think it’s really going to do really good things for the whole community.” Mr Stewart said rowing was a fantastic sport for all ages and all abilities.
Rowers belonged to a like-minded community that prizes camaraderie and team spirit, Mr Stewart said.
The new building has access for disabled rowers and a gym and meeting rooms upstairs.
Buckingham Treasurer Bernadette Stewart said learn-to-row programs with schools were a popular part of the club’s activities.
“First time schoolkids are wide-eyed terrified when they get into the water, then they get moving, it’s very exciting,” she said.
“There are lots of high profile examples of Tasmanian rowers who have become Olympic medallists,” Mr Stewart said.
The New Town Rowing Club facilities will open in April 2014.