By DAVID HILL
A striking new mural has lit up a Rangiora wall as redevelopment of the town’s RSA is about to get under way.
With tenders due to close later this month for the building, the new Spitfire mural is providing a stunning background to RSA’s Victoria Street site.
President Ian Thompson says the mural, painted by artist Suzie Horne, is a duplicate of the existing mural at the northern end of the site, which will not be visible from the street once the redevelopment is completed, he says.
“It is being painted to scale with a group of veterans marching along the bottom and with the RSA branding.”
He hopes the redevelopment work can get under way soon after a big golf tournament being hosted by the RSA next month.
“I’m very, very excited. It’s a good time to be president at the moment – it’s a very exciting time.
“I expect the building to be finished within six to seven months from when it gets under way.
“It will be a building in keeping with what’s happening in Rangiora and for the members, it will be something for them to be proud of.”
Mr Thompson says the first stage of building work will involve creating a new office which the electronics and gaming machine wires can be connected to.
The $3.5 to $4 million project has been designed by local architect Robin White, of Robin White Design, and involves strengthening work, as well as building a more modern facility and a new restaurant.
Strengthening work includes the “whole roof coming off”, and the project will be completed in three stages. However, the RSA will continue to operate throughout the project.
The extensions are expected to add about 150 square metres to the complex, but the biggest change will be an “improved layout” which will allow the RSA to become a conference venue in the future.
The complex will be extended out the northern boundary, with the biggest extension on the south side, which will become the main entrance with a large foyer area and display with memorabilia.
Mr Thompson says between the Rangiora RSA and the RSA Club there is around 2800 members, making it the biggest RSA in the country.
“The existing building is well and truly used by the community.
Most of the organisations have their meetings and functions here and in future we will be able to host some big events.”