Sports ground costs escalate

The costs of the redevelopment of the Lavington Sports Ground have risen, in the wake of the discovery of soil problems on the site.

AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack said the cost of the project had now risen by $3.2 million because extra work was required to deal with problems caused by a large amount of unsuitable soil base material.

However, as the excavation works are now complete, there will be no further cost rises in relation to the soil issue.

“It’s an unfortunate turn of events beyond our control but I’m pleased to say the extra costs will not be a burden to ratepayers as the over-run will be met by savings in other areas, so there’ll be no cuts to any other services or programs,” Cr Mack said.

“It’s disappointing to be met by another cost rise but we are still on track to develop one of the best sporting facilities in regional Australia, with stage one to be completed within the first quarter of this year.”    

When the problem was first discovered last November, it was estimated the overall project cost would over-run by between $1.5 million and $2 million.

“The positive news is that our new sports ground is steadily taking shape and excavation works are now complete with light towers erected this week,” Cr Mack said.

“It will be exciting to see stage one completed and I look forward to seeing the wonderful local, national and international sporting events that our fantastic new facilities will attract.”

Options for plans and construction schedules for the remainder of the redevelopment will be presented at a council workshop in March.

At this stage, the on-going construction is expected to have only a minimal impact on the O&M home and away football/netball season and the availability or otherwise of the ground for the O&M grand finals will be confirmed in coming months.