Safety concerns trigger club balcony demolition
THE upper-storey balcony at the Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club has been demolished because of safety concerns.
Demolition of the balcony began on Wednesday and was carried out over the following days.
Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club president Les Pepper said trying to keep the decaying building as safe as possible was the club's primary concern.
"With the rust and everything that's been attacking the building, we've decided to pull the top balcony down," Mr Pepper said.
"It's not going to be replaced as it's too expensive and we don't have plans to stay in the building because of its condition."
In its poor condition the upper balcony threatened to fall on people who often sit on the lower level balcony.
The surf club plans to replace the upper balcony with shade sails as a temporary measure until the club can move to a new location.
The integrity of the upper balcony is only one of the safety issues with the surf club building, which has been worn down by age, rust and termites.
"There was an inspection done on the building through Surf Life Saving NSW six weeks ago and the results haven't come back yet, but we don't expect it to be good; they'll probably condemn the building," he said.
Mr Pepper said removal of the balcony is just the latest chapter in a years-long attempt to repair the building.
"For the past three years we've been trying to rebuild the surf club," he said.
"We started off wanting to stay where we were, but we can't stay because it's too close to the water and in the erosion zones and all of that.
"We tried every option and the only one we came up with, and one that is in accordance with the council, is to move where the VRO (Marine Rescue Woolgoolga) building is."
With the Marine Rescue expected to move to Arrawarra, the surf club plans to knock down the existing building and rebuild on that land.