Rotting frames, a leaking roof, changing rooms with no ventilation and aging showers, and a cramped office for the board. Argo's quarters are crying out for major renovation work. Which is why the Wageningen rowing club is calling on the municipality to make its intentions clear without delay.
For years the municipality of Wageningen has been planning to revamp the harbour, which would involve Argo having to move. But these plans have never got any further that a few sketches, so the club started renovating its building anyway. That was necessary because they were far from meeting the standards of NOC-NSF, the Dutch federation of sports organizations. There is still a long way to go. The cost could easily reach a million euros if all the requirements are to be met and all the other preferences are to be included as well. That will give the club an extra one hundred and fifty square metres of floor area. What is more, you will no longer have to go through the changing rooms to get to the boat house, the bar will have proper heating and ventilation and the front entrance will be clearly visible. And it will all be energy efficient. 'These plans might be a bit ambitious, but you don't get anywhere without ambition', says Bas Boterman, a member of the renovation committee. Many club members are happy to pay ten cents extra for a glass of beer to help pay for the renovations but that won't be enough to cover the club's costs. 'That's why we really want the municipality to make things clear. We are not against moving, but here we've got our own land and our own building. We need to be able to keep going and raise funds.' The students have already been able to persuade Erica Terpstra, who chairs the NOC*NSF, to christen a new rowing eight in January in the Forum building. Argo wants to have everything sorted out by the time it celebrates its first hundred years at the end of 2012.