Tuesday, 5 May 2015

3D printing, cupcakes, hot-desking as Tampines West CC caters to younger crowd

By Olivia Ho, The Straits Times, 4 May 2015

THREE-DIMENSIONAL printing, wine appreciation and hot-desking are hardly activities you would associate with your neighbourhood community club (CC).

Yet, Tampines West CC is offering these and more for its residents. At the CC's first open house in over a decade yesterday, residents got to try out these free activities in new spaces like a revamped kitchen, a basketball court and a glass studio.

The CC has also brought in eateries such as Starbucks, Subway and Alt-Yard, a collaboration between independent cafe Penny University and cupcake maker Fluff Bakery.

The line-up of more than 50 programmes and services caters to the increasing number of young residents, families and professionals in the area.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Masagos Zulkifli, an adviser to Tampines Grassroots Organisations, said that as more condominiums and Build-to-Order developments come up in the area, more young families are entering the community.

He said: "If we do not upgrade the facilities and the programmes, we will perhaps be meeting the needs of only the elderly who come here to read newspapers or to watch the news because they don't want to do it at home.

"We want to make sure this is a place where people can hang out, that the young can chill out at."

The CC has had a series of upgrades over the past four years, drawing on $1.2 million in funds raised in 2010 from 79 donors in the community.

Tampines resident and part-time cashier Ting Lee Peng, 49, had not visited the CC for years, but returned yesterday for cooking classes with her child. "It gives us the opportunity to bond - we seldom have this kind of chance," she said.

Her daughter, Shelia Teo, 11, who hopes to print a puppy in a 3D printing class, said of the CC: "It's very modern and I like that it has air-con."

The CC is also drawing non-Tampines residents. Mr Nelson Ng, 32, lives in Hougang, but has been running his online recruitment business from the club's hot-desking facility for four months.

A desk can be rented for $100 a month, and he also enjoys amenities like free Wi-Fi. He said: "My CC doesn't have this feature. If you're a start-up and short of cash, $100 a month is quite affordable. It also feels more comfortable in the heartland."

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