The long-awaited expansion of the Deniliquin Sports & Entertainment stadium could start as early as next month.
Deniliquin Sports Park Incorporated last week appointed local company B Green Constructions as the project contractors.
Sports Park Inc president Craig Druitt said while the timeline for the project still needed to be finalised, he hopes for a July start.
‘‘Because we will have to close the stadium there is a still a bit of planning to be done,’’ Mr Druitt said.
‘‘We expect the work could take up to six months.
‘‘The upgrades have been a long time coming, and with up to 500 users per week the stadium is the most used sports precinct in Deniliquin.
‘‘I think B Green Constructions will bring expertise to the project and fit the needs of this community-based facility as it expands.
‘‘The exciting development will see the stadium return to having two open courts available, which will allow management to increase the opportunities for existing users and extend the range of activities offered.
‘‘It will also provide a venue with the capacity to host regional competitions and tournaments.
‘‘We have had this vision for a long time and it is great to see it finally moving forward. I think it will be really good for the town.’’
B Green Constructions owner and director Bernie Green said he’s pleased to be able to help improve an already valuable community asset.
‘‘We aim to provide high quality work to ensure the stadium will benefit from the expansion for many years to come,’’ he said.
Deni Sports Park Inc has been working toward the expansion project for a number of years, and it was officially kick-started with the announcement of $503,000 from the NSW ClubGrants infrastructure funding in June 2017.
An additional $540,000 was allocated from Edward River Council’s Stronger Communities major projects program in July 2017, followed by support from the Deniliquin Community Group.
Committee treasurer Graeme McKindlay said it was that original funding announcement from the Office of Responsible Gambling that gave them the confidence the project was possible.
‘‘Progress from the initial planning stage several years ago has at times been slow and challenging. We have had very patient support from several sources who are providing the majority of the funds for the project,’’ Mr McKindlay said.
‘‘We are now in a position to confidently proceed with the $1.5 million extension fully funded.
‘‘The Edward River Council has also allocated significant funds as part its community grants program, and we have more recently topped up that funding with help of the Deniliquin Community Group.
‘‘I do note that a very significant contribution to this project proceeding has come from John Arthur, the stadium manager, who has over a number of years submitted successful grant applications and prepared the initial grant application.
‘‘We are able to go forward with this thanks to the support of the community to provide a better facility that is already used on a week-to-week basis 52 weeks a year. We look forward to seeing the finished expansion.’’
~ Olivia Duffey