New budget for SICC clubhouse gets go-ahead

New budget for SICC clubhouse gets go-ahead

 

By LEE U-WEN

 

(SINGAPORE) Members of the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) have voted in favour of a new $90.3 million budget to build a new, ultra-modern clubhouse.

 

This figure is a shade over 50 per cent more than the original $60 million budget – approved in April 2007 – to build the 25,000 square metre facility at the club’s Upper Thomson Road location.

 

The management had announced to all 7,500 SICC members last month that it had to revise the budget upwards because of soaring construction costs due to a shortage of building material and manpower. At an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) last night, 159 of 257 members – about 62 per cent – gave the go-ahead for a revised project cost of $81.1 million.

 

In a separate resolution, 137 out of 263 members who cast their vote said yes to an additional $9.2 million for improvements to architectural and mechanical and engineering works.

 

When added up, the total estimated cost of the new clubhouse stands at $90.3 million. This far exceeds the 5 per cent contingency that was set aside earlier.

 

Work on the clubhouse – which will contain a spa, wellness centre and restaurants, among other facilities – began last September and is expected to be ready by mid-2010. In a circular dated May 23, the SICC assured members that the project was still on target to be completed on time.

 

But not everything went the management’s way at the EGM. Members gave plans for two separate enhancements – to build 30 residential guest suites and 130 more car park lots, costing a total of just over $16.6 million – the thumbs-down.

 

Just 68 out of 262 members were in favour of the guest suites, while 150 out of 261 members said no to the extended car park space.

 

One member, speaking on condition of anonymity, told BT that he felt that spending more than $8 million on the guest suites was ‘lavish and unnecessary’ in this current period of belt-tightening.

 

In all, the total upgrading costs of the clubhouse and other additional enhancements will come up to $97.8 million. When contacted by BT, SICC declined to give its thoughts on the voting results.

 

Its general committee issued a short press statement yesterday evening which only recapped the various resolutions that were passed by the members.

 

But even as SICC prepares to dig deeper into its reserves of $420 million – the latest figure as of June 30 this year – its president John Kirkham informed members last Friday that the monthly subscription fees would go up by between $10 and $20 from Aug 1 this year.

 

‘The additional revenue arising from this fee revision does not cover fully the increase in costs, and the club will continue to operate with a deficit,’ wrote Mr Kirkham.

 

Besides Upper Thomson Road, SICC has another location at Sime Road. The current transferable membership price is $205,000.

 

Source: Business Times

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