By Bonny Burrows
The new home of the Emerald Netball Club is a step closer to realisation after Cardinia Shire Council announced the contractor for the project’s civil works.
A1 Civil will undertake the works associated with the first stage of the new netball reserve at Pepi’s Land, which will involve the construction of four netball courts, car parking, access roads, retaining walls, pad earthworks, and the required draining.
The $1.7 million works are part of a three-stage multi-million dollar development, which once complete will also include a pavilion with club house, female friendly facilities and a children’s playground.
Ranges Ward councillors expressed their delight at the project’s progress at Cardinia Shire Council’s 11 December general council meeting, during which the contractor was appointed.
Cr Leticia Wilmot, who in 2015 described the project as “long overdue”, said the facility was a massive win for the netball club and members of the wider community.
The premises will be used by used to by the local netball club for training facilities, while the Sherbrooke Netball Association will use it for league games.
Emerald Primary School and the wider community will also have access to the courts when not used for competition.
“I’m very excited to say at last, ‘yes, we’ll be starting construction early next year’,” Cr Wilmot said.
Deputy Mayor Brett Owen said the project was desperately needed as the town’s current netball facility on Worrell Reserve lacked female amenities and was “totally unacceptable”.
“Ranges councillors have been looking into this (new site) for a long time, so I’m glad to see it will eventuate,” Cr Owen said.
Civil works on the project will commence in early 2018 with the other stages to follow shortly after.
The Emerald Netball Club has been contacted for comment.