The goal of having a space to further develop local athlete's talents and prepare for a professional sporting career is becoming a reality with site preparations beginning for the Mid North Coast High Performance Centre in South West Rocks.
Lipman Pty Ltd will commence construction of the multilevel grandstand, function room, amenities and sports training facility on May 24.
The plan for the facility began to take shape in 2018 when Kempsey Shire Council, in collaboration with the South West Rocks Sport and Recreation Association and the South West Rocks Country Club, applied for a NSW Government grant to help fund the build.
The announcement of a $2.46 million Government grant for the construction of the facility in October 2018 was the first step in making the vision a reality.
"This new state-of-the-art complex will fill a gap in high performance infrastructure and capabilities for athletes, coaches and officials across a range of sports in the Mid North Coast region," Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said at the time.
"This will allow South West Rocks to host big regional events and bring more economic growth to our region."
Due to the complex nature of moving the project from a community vision to a facility that is designed, funded and able to be constructed, the project was delayed.
The original design plan exceeded cost expectations and meant council had to go back to the drawing board in early 2020 to seek new tenders and a revised design.
The green light for the project was given in October last year, with council selecting a preferred tender Lipman Pty Ltd for construction at the October 2020 council meeting.
"The original construction tenders far exceeded the available budget so we've worked over the past six months on a tender approach that could see the facility built in stages, enable design and construction technique efficiencies to be considered and allow exploration of alternatives for fit-out and labour to be sourced through the Country Club and local contributions," Kempsey Shire Council's Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said in October last year.
The almost $5 million project will see enhanced serviceability for local sporting needs, while providing the opportunity for high performance, junior pathways and larger events within the region.
Initial preparations for delivery of the public infrastructure will see the following alterations in the construction zone:
The perimeter fencing and delivery area will see up to 27 car spaces voided initially, dropping down to approximately 18 spaces as the large delivery is non-permanent as construction progresses.
The large deliveries area will allow trucks and large items to enter and manoeuvre the car park and will be manned by Lipman Pty Ltd.
The site fencing will be set a minimum of three metres off the sideline of Field 1 at South West Rocks Sports Ground and will be opened each night and weekend to allow public access to the grounds.
Funding for the Mid North Coast High Performance Centre was secured by Kempsey Shire Council and the South West Rocks Sport and Recreation Committee, receiving $2,465,268 from the 2018 Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, $400,000 from South West Rocks Country Club, $1.1 million from Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, an estimated $750,000 from the sale of council-owned land in South West Rocks and a further $440,000 from the Timber Bridge Program that has now been supplied by other grants.
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