Thursday, April 25, 2024

Greater Bendigo sports hub kicks off

Stage one of a $24.8 million partnership between City of Greater Bendigo Council, Catherine McAuley College, Cricket Australia, Cricket Victoria and the Victorian Government to develop new joint use sporting facilities in the growing Junortoun area has commenced.

The Mercy Junortoun Sports Precinct project will create a high-quality state-of-the-art junior sporting hub with irrigated sports fields and other facilities to cater for cricket, AFL, netball, soccer and basketball to support educational use during school hours and community use outside of school hours.

It will also provide much needed facilities for cricket in line with the Victorian Cricket Infrastructure Strategy (2018-2028) which acknowledges a need for more infrastructure in the Northern Rivers Region.

City of Greater Bendigo Director Health and Wellbeing, Vicky Mason said working in partnership to deliver the project and sharing the costs reduces the cost to the community and improves the quality of facilities that both the City and the College can deliver.

“Shared use infrastructure provides facilities that can be actively used every day of the week during and after school hours,” Ms Mason said.

“The partnership reduces the need for duplication of sports field investment across both education and community sectors and it means the City’s $5.7 million contribution to both stages of the shared investment will support the College to construct a $24.8 million sporting and community precinct. 

“The project highlights the City’s commitment to deliver infrastructure across the municipality that can be accessed by all residents.”

Catherine McAuley College Principal, Brian Turner said a partnership of this scale was significant and a win-win for the College, local sporting groups and the wider community.

“The project will continue the implementation of the Coolock Campus Master Plan, following completion of the Sister Aloysius Martyn Arts Centre in January 2019 and initiate a long-term partnership between the College and the City in the provision of school, community and sporting facilities,” Mr Turner said.

“The new facilities will usher in an exciting new sporting precinct for the College and the Junortoun community and will help to build an engaged, active and healthy community.

“The project would not have been possible without the commitment of the broader Mercy community.  The College community extends its thanks to the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, McAuley Property Limited and Mercy Education Limited for their endorsement of this partnership and for granting the extensive lease of the land which are both significant investments.”

The project will be undertaken in two stages with the first stage including a redevelopment of the lower oval precinct and the construction of an indoor complex/cricket hub.

The redevelopment of the lower oval precinct will include construction of a junior size oval, a minimum size senior oval, two synthetic cricket pitches, two outdoor netball courts, installation of irrigation, access ways, pathways and landscaping, goal posts, training lights, interchange benches and electronic scoreboards to the senior oval.

The new indoor complex/cricket hub will include community use facilities including local level AFL, Cricket Victoria and Netball Victoria female friendly changerooms and amenities, umpire changerooms, external viewing area, storage areas for sporting user groups and school, social and meeting spaces, first aid room and kitchen/kiosk facilities.

The Cricket Hub area will include six lane cricket training area, access to changerooms and amenities, office administration area, two court stadium and storage space.

The $20,243,735 first stage of the project is being funded by Catherine McAuley College/Mercy Education Ltd – $15,589,570 (plus provision of the land), City of Greater Bendigo – $4,154,165 and the Victorian Government (Cricket Australia Sport and Recreation Victoria) – $500,000.

The second stage of the project is partially funded by Catherine McAuley College/Mercy Education Ltd – $1,520,667 and City of Greater Bendigo $1,520,667.  However, a further funding commitment of $1.5 million is required to progress this stage of works with initial conversations being held with the Victorian Government.

The project is expected to be completed by April 2023.

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