Shepparton Golf Club says the damage bill from a fire that roared through its clubhouse roof on a Saturday afternoon in late January could reach two and a half million dollars.
“I’d put a conservative estimate at two million to probably two and a half,” the club’s General Manager Stephen Seagrave says.
“The insurers came up with that figure based on the fact that our roof space is about 1800 square metres. To rebuild something of that size you’re probably looking at around $1200 per square metre.”
The club expects to be fully insured for the damage that was caused to 90 per cent of the clubhouse roof.
It says the replacement of the roof will be finished no later than November this year.
“That’s not great for us but at least it gives us a time frame,” Seagrave says.
CFA investigators determined the January 18 blaze was not deliberately lit, suspecting it was caused by a rubbish bin that self-combusted in a loading bay beside the clubhouse.
Members became aware of the blaze at around 1pm, noticing smoke billowing from the clubhouse roof.
CFA arrived on scene shortly after and put the fire out around 2pm.
“It’s gone up our back wall and through the heart of the building into the main room of our clubhouse and our bar facility, we’ve lost the entire roof there,” Seagrave says.
The roofing above the men’s locker rooms was completely gutted by the blaze while a full carpeting replacement will be needed.
Partial damage was also inflicted on the roof above the pro shop while the ladies locker room endured smoke damage.
“We must also thank the CFA for a fabulous job in not only putting out the fire, but being sensitive to our club’s honour boards and memorabilia which dates back to the earliest meeting in forming the club,” Seagrave says.
Shepparton’s bar and bistro was out of action for close to two weeks and there was no pro shop for a week resulting in significant loss of revenue.
“We lost all our normal member lunches and bar sales that happens during the week with our men and ladies. The men play Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays, the ladies play Wednesdays and Saturdays so we lost all their trade.”
Seagrave estimates the club lost up to three thousand dollars in green fee income.
“We do a large amount of green fees, probably more than most Melbourne clubs do. Luckily it’s a quiet month for most golf clubs around Australia. If we had have lost the building in October, that would have probably cost us around 20 thousand dollars in green fees.”
With work yet to be completed on removing the damaged roof, the club is bracing for the discovery of further damage that hadn’t been accounted for initially.
“As we remove part of the roof, (we) may see more damage than what we’d anticipated.”
The club says members and local businesses alike have made generous offers to support the club through its rebuilding phase.
“Mooroopna Golf Club allowed members to play at Mooroopna while we were discovering how bad the damage was with no green fees. It’s a fabulous gesture from them in particular.”