Club Projects

The minutes of the Management Committee meeting held on 31 January 1957, record that it was agreed to install toilets and showers in the dressing rooms and the work was completed before the start of the next season. The first volley board was erected during 1959 at a cost of $40, and more recently, in 1966, a hand basin was installed in the ladies dressing room. 1959 saw the Club and the Johnsonville Kindergarten embark on a joint venture of building the concrete retaining wall between the two properties. The Council provided the boxing and the concrete and the two organisations supplied the manpower.

In 1979, replacement of the Clubrooms was being discussed and specific fund raising had started, not only for new Clubrooms but for court resurfacing as well. On 8 October 1979 a Special Meeting was convened to discuss the feasibility and means of building a new Clubhouse.

The Annual General Meeting of August 1980 resolved "that all cash investments owned by the Club and not presently allocated for financing the building of the new Clubhouse be so allocated for use when construction of the Clubrooms commences." That decision was followed through and in addition a $10 surcharge was approved by the same AGM, to apply to all membership subscriptions for the 1980/81 season. The Club applied to the Wellington City Council for the lease of some additional land on the southern boundary abutting the garage that belonged to the Council owned at 12 Dr Taylor Terrace. Following a public meeting, the land was made available by the Council in March 1980 for the proposed site of the Clubrooms.

This marked the start of serious planning with the building plans being drawn-up by October 1980,  a Building Permit was applied for and granted in October 1981, whereupon work started on the new Clubrooms.  About 6,000 voluntary manhours went into the construction of the 1,800 square foot building over a 14-month period of time. The Clubhouse cost about $30,000 which had all been raised by the Club's own efforts. Cr Keith Spry officially opened the Clubrooms on 4 December 1982 and a very successful dine and dance followed that evening.

During the building of the new clubrooms, the old one was badly damaged by an arsonist, who had lit a series of fires over a period of time in various buildings in the immediate "community block" area of Johnsonville. As a result, the storage shed, men's changing room and toilets were gutted. The Club was especially fortunate in that the culprit did not set fire to the partially completed shell of the new clubrooms. Some of the old Clubhouse remained and was able to be kept functioning while the replacement was built. Once the new rooms were opened, the old rooms were demolished in mid 1983 and finally removed leaving only the concrete foundation slab on the eastern boundary, which remains to this day. The Club also received a welcome insurance payout for the damage to the old Clubrooms. 

For the next couple of years, replacement of the perimeter fencing progressively took place until eventually a new and uniform height fence surrounded the courts. In addition, following a period of persistent vandalism that saw several nets ruined and the clubrooms broken into a several occasions, the decision was made to lock the courts and make access to them only through the downstairs entrance. Keys were issued to all members for a deposit of $20 then in early 2004, a keyless entry system with changeable combinations, was installed.

Towards the end of 1991, Barry Mildenhall embarked on what was to be one of the most challenging and satisfying projects ever undertaken by the Club — lighting the courts.  As the recommended height above ground of the poles (14.7 metres), exceeded the 8 metre standard height, the project was the subject of a specified consent application. Over a period of about a year, a community meeting was held with objectors, a consultant prepared a report for Council based on that meeting and finally a Wellington City Council hearing was held. The end result was that consent was granted for the above height poles, which had the effect of very abruptly cutting off light spill from around the court boundary. When the lights were commissioned in February 1997, the computer predictions of light strength, at various points around the courts and surrounding area were checked with a light meter and it was found that all values matched perfectly. Again, the Club funded this project, which cost almost $30,000 from funds, grants and a loan from the NZ Lawn Tennis Association. 

Towards the end of the century, the Clubrooms were given a repaint inside and out, again with funding assistance from the Johnsonville Licensing Charitable Trust, which was the first refurbishment since the Clubrooms were built. Then in mid-2004, as part of the preparation for the centennial, the Club recarpeted completely, thereby replacing the second-hand carpet that had served so well, in its second life.

In 2018, the Committe embarked on another major project to replace the ailing lights. The performance of the lights had deteriorated significantly over the past 20 years, such to the extent that playing under the light at night was compared to "still playing in the dark". 

The Committee took this opportunity to replace the single-head light fittings on each pole with dual-heads, therefore increasing the light output for each court. Also, the updated LED technology meant that the lights turned on immediately after being switched on, and updated technology also resulted in cheaper running costs.

Once we obtained the quotes we needed, the next hurdle was getting grant funding, as the club couldn’t support a project of this size on its own. We thought that applying to the Johnsonville Charitable Trust (JTC) would be a surefire winner,  given our location and relationship with JTC over recent times. But after our first letter declining our application, we realised that the road to get funding was not going to be an easy one. The next application went to One Foundation, which was also declined. At this stage the committee mooted the point of splitting the project into separate components and seeing if applying for lower amounts to different entities might produce a better outcome. However, we persevered and tried one more time with Pub Charities, which was successful (finally).

The next major hurdle was dealing with the Council. While we already had a resource consent allowing us to have one fitting/one head per pole, we were proposing to change the conditions to have one fitting with two heads per pole, which required a new resource consent. Unfortunately, we didn’t include the cost of a new resource consent in our funding application, as we originally thought the existing consent would suffice. This omission ultimately cost the club over $2,000 for the Council’s processing fee and compliance monitoring. 

And finally, the installation. This was probably the part of the project that went the smoothest. The light fittings turned up as scheduled, the scissor lift was available as booked, the middle court net was taken down, the electrician turned up ahead of schedule and even the weather turned out a great day to allow the installation to happen. Committee members lent a hand to lay carpet down on the courts and put cones out on our driveway to prevent the public from parking their cars and blocking access onto the courts.  The result speaks for itself. The new technology LED lights produce better lighting output and at a lower cost, and the middle court is now not the forgotten court!

In 2022, the majority of the perimeter fencing was replaced as well as some wind break installed on the northern fence.  This project was funded through a grant received from Pub Charities.

In early 2023, a landscaping project saw the removal of agaphanthus plants on both the eastern and western boundaries of the courts (many lost tennis balls were finally found!!!). The eastern side was replaced with bench seating for our members to watch play on courts, as well as a concreted area for the BBQ. The western boundary was replaced with more tennis-appropriate planting.  The club also took this opportunity to replace the step ramp up to the gate with stairs, to make it easier to access the courts.

For the 2023/24 season, the Committee replaced the door accessing the clubhouse, including an upgrade to a cloud-based electronic access system (via key fob). The repainting of the court surface is planned for the summer of 2023/24.

The management committee continues to review its 5-year maintenance plan on a 6-monthly cycle, with a view to ensuring the club's facilities are kept current and safe for use by its members.