THE first sod has been officially turned at the redevelopment of the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club’s clubhouse.
The redevelopment will create a modern, fit-for-purpose clubhouse, providing volunteer lifesavers with more space to support their summer patrols.
The building will also be an important community hub, with a café that can be enjoyed by local residents and visitors to the popular Surf Coast town.
Demolition of the 1960s-era building has been completed, paving the way for the new facility to be built on the same site.
Construction is expected to be completed by the start of summer patrols in 2019-20.
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney turned the first sod on Saturday to officially start construction alongside Surf Coast Shire mayor David Bell, Labor candidate for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman and Jan Juc SLSC members, including president Aaron Green.
The state and federal government have contributed $2 million each to the project.
The club has received another $1 million from community supporters, while the Surf Coast Shire and RACV have also provided funding.
Saturday’s sod turning came more than a month after Corangamite federal member Sarah Henderson knocked a hole in the wall of the clubhouse to mark the imminent start of demolition, which began on September 13.
“The Victorian Government is investing millions of dollars to ensure lifesavers have the facilities they need to respond to incidents and keep people safe in the water,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club is an integral part of the town, with its lifesavers keeping a watchful eye on swimmers of all ages for the past 55 years.”
“The new clubhouse will be a major boost to lifesavers, club members and the whole Jan Juc community.”