New floor gets City of Warrnambool Rowing Club high and dry

SOLID GROUND: City of Warrnambool Rowing Club president Jo Bone shows off the raised floor in the clubrooms. Picture: Rob Gunstone
SOLID GROUND: City of Warrnambool Rowing Club president Jo Bone shows off the raised floor in the clubrooms. Picture: Rob Gunstone

IT might not seem like much, but a thick concrete slab has made all the difference to the City of Warrnambool Rowing Club.

The club unveiled the new raised floor of its clubrooms on Sunday, which will keep equipment and members out of the murky floodwaters that fill the venue for up to five months of the year.

Club president Jo Bone said the works began in February.

“Since 1996 we have had to wade in foul, ankle-to-thigh high water to access the boat shed,” Ms Bone said.

“This was for three to five months of every year.”

The low floor and high river level was causing damage to equipment as well as being a health and safety issue, with one rower standing on a submerged object in the boatshed, leading to an infected foot that prevented them from rowing.

The higher floor is expected to be high enough to keep the clubrooms dry during the usual Hopkins River inundations, although it is below the watermark of the one-in-a-hundred year flood event of 2011.

The upgrade was thanks to donations from the Gwen & Edna Jones and Ray & Joyce Uebergang foundations, as well as members’ fund-raising efforts.

PLAQUE THE OCCASION: City of Warrnambool Rowing Club committee members Kath McMeel, Annie Blanch, president Jo Bone, foundations director and former rower James Tait, and club members Susan Finnigan and Clive Wooster, with the new plaque celebrating the new floor. Picture: Rob Gunstone

PLAQUE THE OCCASION: City of Warrnambool Rowing Club committee members Kath McMeel, Annie Blanch, president Jo Bone, foundations director and former rower James Tait, and club members Susan Finnigan and Clive Wooster, with the new plaque celebrating the new floor. Picture: Rob Gunstone