A proposal to convert the old Raumati pool into a Marine Discovery Centre will be submitted to the Kapiti Coast District Council for public consultation.
The Guardians of the Kapiti Marine Reserve group is seeking funding under the KCDC Long Term Plan process, to undertake a feasibility study to establish a marine education, research and activity centre.
Chair of the Guardians committee Ben Knight says the centre will complement what is already on the Kapiti Coast in terms of the natural, outdoor environment.
He says it would be an attraction for visitors and a place for locals to learn about the marine environment and why it is important to look after it.
The centre would incorporate aquariums - including a“Kāpiti marine life” themed tank hosting a community of common local marine life - classrooms and educational facilities, lecture and multimedia theatres, a virtual reality studio, displays, souvenir/gift shop and a cafe.
"At this stage we believe the project would be well suited as an inward investment and community partnership opportunity for KCDC with many economic, educational and environmental benefits for our district," says Knight.
The group doesn't expect KCDC to "stump up any cash for this and believe funding to support this project could come from a variety of sources" including the Government's Regional Economic Development Fund, Lotteries grants and private sponsorship.
"The main inputs from KCDC would be a low or no cost long term lease on the building and a willingness to partner with the Guardians and other community stakeholders to further investigate this proposal," says Knight.
The committee has been working on the Marine Education Centre proposal for the last 18 months and hope to see it “come to life" within the next three years.