The Warrnambool Surf Lifesaving Club has put the finishing touches on its plans for a full rebuild, projected to cost $12 million.
The club will release plans for the project as soon as they are lodged with Warrnambool City Council, which it hopes will occur in coming months.
The outdated 1950s building currently housing the surf club will be demolished under the plans.
"The current building is too far gone to refurbish, so we have to start from scratch," club captain Jo McDowall said.
While Ms McDowall and club vice president John McNeil were reticent about details of the rebuild, they said a key aspect was increasing the footprint of the building and the surrounding car park.
"This is a club with 900 members, so it needs the facilities and accessibility to reflect that," Ms McDowall said
Both recalled occasions when ambulances had been unable to access the precinct in an emergency situation because of congestion in the surrounding car park.
"One of the main issue is access to the beach, which can be difficult at the best of times," Mr McNeil said.
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While the club was keen to press ahead with its plans, it was still in negotiations with council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning over its use of adjacent land.
Ms McDowall said the bureaucratic process was taking a long time and the plan had gone through three different project officers at DELWP.
But she said it hadn't stopped them beginning discussions with the state and federal governments about finding the $12 million to pay for the redevelopment.
"We don't need to wait for the plans to be submitted to start those conversations. It's good to get that underway early," Ms McDowall said.
She said by the end of the process the club will have spent at least $120,000 on architects and consultants fees, all out of its own funds.
Mr McNeil said it was the first time the club had ever asked for money for building or refurbishment works.
"The club has covered all its maintenance costs over the journey. We've never gone to the well," he said.
Ms McDowell said while the $12 million price tag might seem hefty, the club had studied other rebuilds in Anglesea, Jan Juc and Ocean Grove carefully when designing its plan.
"The facility that was built a few years ago in Ocean Grove cost $8.5 million and material and labour costs have jumped since then," she said.
Mr McNeil said other surf clubs all gave them the same advice when they visited to study their new facilities.
"They all said they wished they'd gone bigger. Build it so it's fit for purpose in 50 years' time."
Victorian Member for South-West Coast Roma Britnell visited on Wednesday along with opposition spokesman for emergency services Brad Battin to draw attention to the aging facility.
Ms Britnell said the "iconic vista deserves better" than the current building.
Mr Battin said he wished he could make a funding announcement, but observing the issues with the current facility was an important first step.
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