$600,000 Reid Oval upgrade to bring facilities up to AFL standard

A PLANNED new pavilion at Warrnambool’s Reid Oval will have AFL-quality change rooms, paving the way for more top-level football and cricket matches.

Work is expected to start on the $600,000 upgrade within months and will continue through the 2014 playing season.

An electronic scoreboard, multi-purpose pavilion and updated electricity, gas and water connections will be installed, with civil works expected to start soon.

A further stage of the long-awaited redevelopment involves upgrading the ground surface and lighting when funding becomes available.

Mayor Michael Neoh said the project was delayed this year because dimensions of the change rooms had to be expanded to meet AFL standards.

“There will be two change rooms for local netball, which can also be used for footballers in top-level competition,” he said.

“We’ve already had TAC Cup matches on Reid Oval. The next step would be AFL practice matches.

“There is more and more promotion of AFL in regional areas and they play matches in Ballarat and Bendigo.”

Cr Neoh said the Reid Oval control group nominated the change rooms, scoreboard and upgraded services as a priority and any further work would be subject to funding from the government, city council and user groups.

“It all takes time and money,” he said.

“It could have been just an ordinary pavilion, but in terms of the future of sport it needed to be done right. That’s why it took so long.

“It would give Reid Oval the most modern netball facilities in the Warrnambool region.

“Ground surface, draining and lighting would be the next thing, but we’d need support from the AFL, government and user groups.”

A week ago the council confirmed it would meet a $60,000 shortfall if necessary by taking the money from its capital works budget if external funding was not available.

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