The approximately 20-year-old brick building popularly known as ‘Bay 13’ alongside a football wing at Mulwala’s Lonsdale Reserve Oval, which has housed many cricket, tennis and football functions and celebrations, is to be demolished.
Federation Council Administrator Mike Eden decided on the action, and to have new, modern facilities replace Bay 13, at council’s monthly meeting on June 29.
Replacement toilet and storage facilities costing an estimated $150,000 would be constructed with storage facilities close to the tennis courts and toilet facilities where they were originally located beside the drive in to Lonsdale Reserve from Hume Street.
The subject has been under discussion for some time. Over the years, Bay 13 works have been completed in accordance with the Lonsdale Reserve Master Plan.
Earlier this year, council undertook a major review of outstanding works. “The review identified that the existing ‘Bay 13’ condemned toilet and change facilities are required to be demolished,” Federation Council’s Director Infrastructure and Environment Peter Gall said.
“However, while considering this, council consulted with the user groups and received informal feedback from a small segment of the user groups making a case for retention of these condemned buildings.
“The building is an impediment to the road proposed to access the proposed parking facilities in accordance with the master plan. Spectators would be able to see sporting action from their cars. If you’re in the building and spectators are in front along the fence, you can’t see the action.”
But, in view of the feedback from user groups, council engaged an independent engineer to assess the cost of rehabilitation of the condemned building in addition to the amenity upgrades required as per the $155,000 quote from Mulwala Progress Association. The independent engineer estimates an additional $100,000 worth of drainage and plumbing works are required in order to make the facility work in its existing location.
“The estimated cost to council is an additional $250,000 to make the existing building suitable for ongoing usage,” Mr Gall said.
“However, the replacement facilities are estimated to cost $175,000. On balance, it makes financial sense to building the new facilities. The new facilities will cost less to maintain due to longer remaining life.
“The new facilities will comply with ‘all abilities’ access requirements and meet current industry standards.”
Of Bay 13, Mr Eden told council’s June meeting: “I did look at it myself and believe we have landed on the right decision.”
Lonsdale Reserve Committee chairman Rod Sissons said now the decision has been made, the whole area can be modernised.
“We can have the drainage fixed and make the area spectacular,” he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“We can build the hill right up, get it tidy and make it spectacular.”
* In Federation Council’s 2017/18 budget formally adopted at council’s June meeting, in prioritising and expediting works, an increase of $90,000 to the Mulwala Lonsdale Capital Expenditure allocation from $510,000 in 2017/18 to $600,000 was approved but $340,000 for 2018/19 allocation was removed, as well as a reduction of $90,000 from Melbourne Street Capital Expenditure allocation from $265,000 to $175,000.