Million-dollar rescue for ‘dilapidated’ St Kilda lifesaving club

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AN OVERHAUL of St Kilda’s “rotting” and “dilapidated” lifesaving club is one step closer thanks to $1 million from the state government.

Club president Matthew Culka welcomed the funding from Life Saving Victoria and said the 99-year-old building was in desperate need of a “complete tear down”.

The funding brings the club closer to its minimum $2.5 million target for the building works.

In 2011 the City of Port Phillip agreed to chip in $1 million, half of which was a community contribution from the Stokehouse Restaurant, negotiated as part of its lease renewal with the council.

The club has also raised $120,000 through fund-raising.

“It’s a viable project and we’re getting a lot closer,” said Mr Culka.

He said maintenance issues and a lack of space had hampered the club’s growth.

“Members have fallen through the floor,” he said. “The gutters leak when it rains but we can’t fix them because there’s asbestos in the roof and walls.

“There’s no heating or cooling upstairs. And about 80 per cent of our equipment is stored at members’ houses and on their nature strips.”

Mr Culka said the club also struggled to host social events for its 120 members and could not offer a Nippers program “because the building is rotting and falling down”.

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