ACT News

Plans lodged for Melrose High School sports fields upgrades

Development plans have been lodged for the $6.7 million upgrade to the Melrose High School oval and sports precinct.

It is the first chance the community has had to see the detailed proposal and it seems even the dense development application documents have southside residents excited.

Heather Reid of Capital Football,  Shane Rattenbury and Melrose High Principal Simon Vaughan at the announcement of the ...
Heather Reid of Capital Football, Shane Rattenbury and Melrose High Principal Simon Vaughan at the announcement of the new $6.7 million synthetic soccer pitch in May 2015.  Photo: Jay Cronan

Woden Valley Community Council president Martin Miller said what began as an election promise by ACT Labor in 2012 would soon be realised as a great community asset.

"The ACT government has built a number of synthetic school ovals in the past, particularly at the height of the drought," he said.

However Mr Miller said, with the exception of a small synthetic green at Canberra College, this would be "a first for the Woden/Weston area".

Kingsford Smith School, Gold Creek Primary School, Monash Primary and Calwell Primary have all benefited from the policy to date.

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The upgrade was touted by an ACT government spokeswoman as a precinct which would "synergise" sport and physical activities with neighbouring schools and "provide contemporary designed facilities and amenities".

The design includes a new FIFA-accredited synthetic football field with lighting, a new sports pavilion, landscaping, change rooms, an expanded car park, and upgrades to existing multi-use hard courts as well as a natural turf grass field, which will be available for public use outside school hours for a variety of sports including basketball, netball and tennis.

Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said the addition of the FIFA-accredited synthetic field would relive the pressure off fitting in training and games for the high-demand sport.

ACT Tennis chief executive Ross Triffitt was equally pleased with the design for the multisports hub.

He said with the right kind of programming the central amenity serving a variety of sports could boost participation and alleviate the pressure on families who travelled far and wide to meet their children's organised sport commitments.

"That the hard courts will be available out of school hours is also great news because we have a lot of school facilities that are underutilised," he said.

"We have a growing demand so more courts coming online, particularly in the Woden region, is going to be really helpful for the sport."

Anticipation surrounding the multimillion-dollar facility is mounting, but it won't be until mid-February when a decision is made on the development application.

"The civil works component includes the synthetic and natural grass surfaces, hard courts, car park and landscaping works," the spokeswoman said.

"If current plans proceed, the request for tender for the civil works will be advertised in mid-February, closing in March, and the successful contractor will be announced later in March 2016."

Construction is expected to start in April 2016, with the works completed by April 2017.

The proposal is open to comment until February1 at planning.act.gov.au.