Horsham Rural City Council seeks feedback on a multi-purpose sports stadium | Video, poll

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HORSHAM Rural City Council is calling for feedback on its proposed plans for a multi-purpose sports stadium. 

The council released a Wimmera Sports Stadium business case and concept design report in December and while there is no official community consultation phase, it wants to hear people’s views on the plans before making a decision about the project’s future. 

The plans include three indoor sport courts marked for netball, basketball, volleyball and badminton, six squash courts with movable walls and five outdoor netball courts. The site, in Horsham, would have the capacity for 12 tables for table tennis.

Rhonda McNeils talks about the proposed plans

The council’s recreation and sustainability manager Rhonda McNeil said the project could cost $20 million with funding to be sourced from federal, state and local government. 

“We had two quantity surveyor reports done – one came in at $17 million and the other at $25 million. After an analysis and a comparison to other stadiums we believe this location is a $20 million project,” she said.

Ms McNeil said the need for a multi-purpose stadium arose across the past decade as sports outgrew facilities.

Within the project control group involved in developing the plan were representatives from Basketball Victoria, Horsham Volleyball Association, Horsham Table Tennis Association, Horsham Squash Association, Netball Victoria and badminton. 

Polls, listening posts and feedback from sporting groups had shown there was support for the proposed location along McPherson Street and in the vicinity of the basketball stadium and showgrounds. However, concerns regarding a flood plain and the impact on traffic with the possible closure of McBride Street were raised.

Ms McNeil said the site was a flood mitigation area, therefore, flooding was not an issue – but the risk was taken into consideration with the proposed facility to be raised off the ground.

Ms McNeil said McBride Street’s main use was between school drop-off and pick-up times. She said the council had identified the intersection as an area of concern. However, the Horsham Integrated Transport Strategy would look to accommodate the growing population of schools in the area.

The proposed stadium would extend past the Weldon Power gates onto the showgrounds, however, she said the gates would remain because of their historical significance.

The existing basketball stadium was incorporated into the proposed design where the floor and the outside walls would remain, however, the amenities would be replaced.

Ms McNeil said the stadium could be used for program room activities and modified versions of sports.

She said there were opportunities to reinvigorate the adjacent velodrome.

Horsham Rural City Council Wimmera Sports Stadium business case and concept design report: