Friday, October 23, 2009

Safra Toa Payoh to have new clubhouse

SAFRA Toa Payoh, Singapore’s oldest clubhouse for national servicemen, will be pulled down at the end of next year to make way for a bigger and better clubhouse.

Original plans to demolish the 35-year-old building were shelved in 2007 due to the rising costs in steel and sand prices.

But construction costs have eased a little since then, said Minister of State for Defence Koo Tsai Kee.

‘So we will proceed to tear it down and build a new club from scratch,’ he said.

In place of the ageing clubhouse will be a new 20,000 sq m flagship club – more than twice the size of the present building.

Associate Professor Koo said the club is expected to spend up to $50 million on the development, which will be ready by 2013.

Facilities will include a resort-style swimming pool, a bowling centre and an outdoor performance area for weekend entertainment.

There will also be education and leisure programmes offered to members and their families.

Senior Minister Professor S. Jayakumar shared these details at the official opening of the new Safra clubhouse in Jurong West last night.

The $41 million, 2ha, four-storey clubhouse is the fifth among Safra’s clubhouses for national servicemen and their families.

It is also home to one of the largest indoor playgrounds here. Slides rise three storeys high and riders can either climb to the top or take the lift.

There is also a children’s gym, a first for a Safra club.

Other facilities include a wine lounge, a pool, a cue-sports centre and karaoke rooms.

And by 2015, Safra’s sixth clubhouse will be opened in Punggol to meet the growing population there, said Prof Jayakumar.

The Punggol clubhouse, which is expected to cater to water sports enthusiasts, was one of the recommendations from the committee that was convened to recognise the contributions of NSmen, their families and employers.

Prof Jayakumar, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, said Safra clubhouses are ‘a tangible symbol’ of the Government’s efforts to reward those who contributed to the defence of Singapore.

‘For instance, when the Government shares the surplus from our economic growth, we will make a differentiation in favour of Singaporeans who have performed national service.’

Source: Straits Times, 23 Oct 2009

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