The two-story building in Stephenson Park will be replaced, offering improved changing facilities and better access for people with disabilities. Photo: John Morgan

David Braithwaite

CONTRACTS have been awarded for two large local projects.
In order to allow time to complete the work on the dates requested, the Wellington Shire Council recently authorized Chairman David Morcom to sign contracts for the new changing rooms in Stephenson Park and the modernization of the Seacombe boat ramp.
Both contracts must be approved within the budget.
Stephenson Park, Sale, is arguably the county’s busiest sports district featuring soccer, netball, cricket, croquet, tennis, touch football, and baseball.
Increased customer interest and other facility developments have exacerbated the lack of suitable changing facilities for the district’s broad user base.
The current facilities are out of date for user groups and offer inadequate arrangements for female participation, there is a lack of unisex player and referee changing rooms, first aid and coaching rooms and sufficient storage space.
There are also limited public facilities and no disabled access to the facilities.
The calls for tenders for the work were put out to tender and closed at the end of July as there was not enough time to evaluate the submissions before this week’s council meeting.
The council could have approved the contract at its next meeting tonight, but that would have resulted in a tight timeline if the work was to be completed by the start of the 2022 football season.
Councilor Ian Bye said the size of the project meant that time was of the essence.
“We’re taking down the top floor to make the facility more user-friendly,” he said.
“Instead of having upstairs-downstairs, we’re adding a multipurpose room and we’re adding women-friendly changing rooms, a first aid room, [and]We’ll have a disabled toilet.
“The netballers are pretty excited because they’ll also have some changing rooms that they didn’t have before.
“It’s a huge upgrade to a great facility that already exists.”
Longford Cricket Club, which uses the two-story building for their club rooms, will share the recently updated function rooms of the Sale City Football-Netball Club this summer during construction.
There are similar timing issues with authorizing the Chairman of the Board to award the contract to modernize the Seacombe boat ramp.
The calls for tenders for the work were also closed at the end of July, so there was not enough time to consider the submissions for the council meeting on August 3rd.
Time is also of the essence as the completion date has been set for December 15th, before the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The project includes a new boat ramp, driveways, lighting, footpaths and road works.
Both projects are funded by the state government with considerable funds.
The Chief Executive will provide the Council with details of both contracts.

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