Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thames (NZ): Thames Indoor Sports Complex

For several years, discussion has been underway regarding the need for further indoor sports facilities in the town. The Thames High School Gymnasium was currently used by a multitude of groups. This year has seen the planning come to fruition, as a new indoor sports complex is currently under construction - located at the southern end of the Thames High School Gymnasium. There is also a car park being built on the opposite side of Rolleston Street, below the Thames High School Swimming pool. The project is budgeted to coast 4.5 million dollars and is supported by many groups within the community.

The site where the indoor court is being built was in the 1900s the area where the Thames High School Tennis and Basketball courts were located. The asphalt area to the east of the A Block wing. Following the opening of the Thames Goldfield in August 1867, the area south of the Sealey Street intersect was lined with hotels and shops. The Globe Hotel on the corner where the Gym is today, with other businesses and houses to the south where the construction is now taking place.

In September 2016, work began demolishing excess buildings and relocating others. The views below taken from the eastern side of Rolleston Street, looking towards the Thames High School.
Timeline of Construction
 30 October 2016

20 November 2016:

The area where the car park is being built was once the site of the Deep Sinker Mine Shaft.

 4 December 2016 UPDATE:
Work is well underway having cleared the site and work now underway with the foundations. The view below looking north towards the present Thames High School Gym (corner Rolleston & Sealey Streets).

Above: Car park area has been dug out and levelled. A front brick block wall is under construction.
The school baths are to the upper right.

Update 28 December 2016

Above: the carpark area, below the school baths, already for paving.

The foundations/block work looks complete. the TCDC site reports that progress will happen quickly now this work has been completed.
 Above: View to South-west and Thames High School Field - 22 January 2017
Below: View North west to the construction and present day Thames High School Gym. The fences had been knocked over by very strong winds during the night - 22 January 2017.
UPDATE 2 April 2017
Wow, how things have changed in the past months, the structure is now being closed in.

Above: View from Sealey and Rolleston Street intersect. The present Thames High School Gymnasium on the right. Once the site of the Thames Manual & Technical School and in the early goldfield days, the Globe Hotel.
Sunday 9 April 2017
The size of the complex is evident from this view across the grounds - north towards the Sealey Street and Rolleston Street intersect.

Friday 16 February 2018 - Opening Day
Jack McLean Community Recreation Centre

Everyone pulled together and they made, the new recreation facilities were officially opened. The McLean Family, dignitaries, Thames High School staff and pupils, along with dozens from the community gathered to celebrate the opening of the hall and the man whom it was named after - Jack McLean.

The end of a journey watching the building being constructed, and the start of the life of a new facility for Thames and surrounding area.