Work on one of Monash Council’s biggest ever projects, the redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre, is progressing with Council committing a further $3.3 million to the project.
At its 27 March meeting Council voted to spend the additional funds to deliver an integrated multi-purpose sports precinct in Monash with five indoor basketball courts and a gymnastics facility for the Waverley Gymnastics Club.
Mayor Paul Klisaris said the Oakleigh Recreation Centre was a complex site and determining a workable design had been challenging.
“I am delighted we are delivering this once-in-a-lifetime project to create something that will meet the needs of the community into the future, particularly supporting young female athletes,” Cr Klisaris said.
Cr Klisaris said the project had exceeded its original budget due to a number of factors including the physical challenges of the site and the tight timeframe at the start of the project to apply for State Government funding.
Cr Klisaris said the timeframe reduced the opportunity to fully scope out the requirements of users and the impact those detailed requirements would have on the final costs.
Monash Council had originally allocated up to $13.9 million towards the project. The gymnastics club is contributing $1 million to the project and will move from its current home in Dorrington Drive to the Oakleigh Recreation Centre. The Federal Government is providing $2.1 million towards the gymnastics facility with the State Government contributing $3 million through Sports Recreation Victoria.
“This has been a challenging project because of the complexities of the site and the current design. The site is bounded by a well-used pedestrian pathway that leads to Brickmakers Park, some well-established and well-loved trees and the outdoor swimming pool and the challenge was creating a design that didn’t impinge on these areas,” Cr Klisaris said.
“What we’ve had to do as part of the new design was a complete reorientation of the building – a huge piece of work that has delayed the project and also contributed to a rise in costs.
“Whilst we have been able to reduce some costs, we feel it is important we don’t compromise too much and that we get this right, even if it costs a bit more now, rather than have to undertake work again in the future as demand increases,” Cr Klisaris said.
“We have also increased parking from the original proposal and have now included the replacement of the roof as part of the project, which is a significant but necessary cost.
“The redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre is an ambitious and highly important project for the City of Monash and we are proud to be working with Waverley Gymnastics, who have been part of our community for many years and is rapidly increasing its numbers of female participants.
“Waverley Gymnastics is one of Victoria’s biggest clubs and there are currently more than 500 children on the waiting list to participate in the classes at the club,” he said.
“The club’s success and an increased participation in sport means it has outgrown its home base and needs this new, improved facility to provide greater participation opportunities, especially for females.
“The stadium development will focus on meeting demand for local and regional basketball, volleyball, futsal, netball and table tennis (just to name a few) as a result of current facility gaps, population growth and the increased need to provide accessible and contemporary facilities.
“It’s time to move forward with this exciting project and build on our commitment to a healthier and more active Monash and to create more inviting spaces and places for our community.”
Media Contact: Jo Robertson on 0418 391 979 or email Joanne.Robertson@monash.vic.gov.au