SINGAPORE – More than 90,000 operationally-ready national servicemen (NSmen) and their families living in north-western Singapore will benefit from the new Safra clubhouse in Choa Chu Kang when it opens in May.
The hub spanning 29,000 sq ft, which is six years in the works, will feature a 150m sky running track linked to Choa Chu Kang Park and a range of sheltered sports facilities.
During a visit to the site on Friday, Senior Minister of State for Defence and president of Safra Zaqy Mohamad said: “This Safra is an integrated complex within Choa Chu Kang Park for NSmen to enjoy various fitness and well-being activities at our sheltered swimming pool and running track.”
Aside from sports facilities, Safra Choa Chu Kang will have childcare facilities and six enrichment centres offering courses ranging from languages, mathematics and science, to the arts, dance and taekwondo.
Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, who also visited the site, said it is a place families can enjoy.
“The young can go to play areas, the more energetic ones can go rock climbing and the seniors can walk around and breathe in the fresh air,” he added.
The new club, which is Safra’s seventh, is expected to draw over 1.4 million visitors every year when it opens its doors.
By locating it in Choa Chu Kang Park, joggers will have the best of both worlds.
Mr Gan said: “They can jog along the park, climb up the steps and continue along the track on the fourth floor.
“We wanted to ensure that this green space is not lost. This seamless design is so that the area will not feel like a concrete jungle.”
Over 660 solar panels are installed on the roof of the five-storey building to generate over 450,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is equivalent to powering approximately 96 four-room Housing Board flats for one year.
To reduce energy consumption, the club will also utilise a heat recovery system, which sees heat from air-conditioning units warming the showers.
Mr Zaqy said: “As we upgrade other Safra complexes, we will take a look at how to make our buildings more eco-friendly, like providing electric vehicle chargers for cars.”
Originally slated to open in 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the clubhouse’s completion, said Lieutenant-Colonel (NS) Andy Tan Heok, chairman of the Safra Choa Chu Kang development committee.
“We are now back on track. In May, the facilities will be open to residents, and in September, the official opening will take place,” he added.
The club will also host a month-long open house in June for visitors to enjoy special activities and promotions.
LTC Tan said: “We hope the new club can bring a burst of exciting energy into the Choa Chu Kang region and its resident NSmen. As a ‘fitness oasis’, it can help them get energised, relax and recharge.
“We hope to inspire NSmen with more energy to serve. This is an appreciation and recognition of their commitment to defence.”