Demolition of an ageing toilet block has started at McInherney Park as a long-awaited project gets underway.
A modern amenities block will replace the old toilet block. The Sailability Port Macquarie project will also deliver a storage shed at the Port Macquarie riverside park.
The storage shed will house Sailability Port Macquarie's boats, trailers and other equipment, as well as provide storage space for Port Macquarie Triathlon Club and yacht club equipment.
It is hoped the project will be completed by early 2022.
Construction company Building Heights is undertaking the work.
Sailability Port Macquarie president Bob Walsh said with the new storage shed, the plan was to have an additional three sailing boats which meant Sailability Port Macquarie could have an additional 30 participants every week.
The volunteer organisation, which offers sailing to people of all abilities, has put its sailing on hold due to the pandemic but is working on a COVID-safe return plan.
Sailability Port Macquarie construction coordinator Rick Eller said the group had nine boats, five trailers and associated equipment in members' backyards.
"It [the storage shed] will provide a permanent, safe place for us to store and maintain our boats and equipment," he said.
Mr Eller said the project was multi-functional in that a number of people would benefit.
Nine trees will be removed as part of the project and replaced with 14 established native trees.
The demolition of the old toilet block and construction of the amenities block and storage shed is stage one of the project.
Car parking and landscaping are stage two. There will be a net gain of two parking spaces.
The project funding is made up of $250,000 from the state government, $120,000 from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, $100,000 from Sailability Port Macquarie and donations from the wider community.
There has also been a large in kind contribution including from designers, engineers and architects.
Sailability Port Macquarie vice-president Wayne Evans said they were most grateful for the support.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has provided portable toilets at McInherney Park as the toilet block demolition begins.
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