Members of the Minnewasta Golf and Country Club gathered for the Club's semi-annual meeting Tuesday, where they were keen to hear any updates on the new clubhouse project.

"There's not much to update, really," explained Head Pro and General Manager, Greg Hesom, adding things have been moving behind the scenes. "We are very close to finalizing our plans. We have our architects working with the general contractor at the moment."

The hope is to put shovels in the ground in April. 

While members of the Club were able to catch a sneak peek of the building plans last fall, Hesom says the public is going to have to wait a little bit longer. It all hinges on whether the Club's application for $800,000 through the Province's Arts and Culture Community Fund is successful.

"If we don't get that grant, we may have to make some alterations (to the plans) if we aren't able to fundraise the difference," explained Hesom. "We're going ahead as if we are going to get that grant, and if we don't, we'll obviously go right back, and try to fund raise those funds. Once we have that confirmed, I think, at that point, we'd probably be happy to release those renderings to the public knowing that's exactly what the building is going to look like."

Meantime, response to fundraising efforts for the project has been overwhelming, noted Hesom. 

"We've had amazing support from both our membership and businesses locally. As I said, it's almost overwhelming how much it has been supported. I think people really understand the value of Minnewasta to the City of Morden, and that has shown with the way fundraising has gone."

According to Hesom, $1.4 million has come in, so far, through donations. Insurance will cover $3 million of the $5 million dollar project, with fundraising making up the difference. The hope, noted Hesom, is that the provincial grant will come through, and push them to hit their $2 million fundraising goal. 

While the overall plans for the new clubhouse remain a secret, Hesom confirmed it will be a year-round facility with a restaurant and banquet hall. There will also be a patio with seating for about 100 people in order to get the most out of the short summer months. 

"First and foremost, the thing we are always excited about at Minnewasta is the view that you get from the clubhouse over the course," said Hesom. "It's obviously unique for our area, and that's what we are trying to take full advantage of."

As a result, the plan is to include a lot of windows on the golf course side of the new building, with the patio lowered in front of the restaurant, to prevent people sitting inside from having to look through those sitting outside in order to enjoy the view. 

The pro shop will also be moved to the main building, creating one autonomous team with the restaurant. A few golf simulators will be installed in the new pro shop, which Hesom says will help keep the restaurant open and members around year-round.