The Mernda Sports Hub project includes the planning and construction of an indoor and outdoor aquatics and sports facility, proposed for a site on Plenty Road, Mernda.
The proposed site is on Plenty Road, Mernda, to the North of Bridge Inn Road.
The site was identified in the Mernda Strategy Plan, which then informed the development of the Mernda Regional Recreation Reserve Master Plan.
Studies identified the need for a local-level facility to be developed on the site.
Although aquatic / leisure and indoor sports facilities are separate planning projects, cost efficiencies can arise when they are delivered concurrently.
A timeline of planning and feasibility to date includes:
Planning is currently underway to determine which facilities will be included at the Mernda Sports Hub.
A review of the master plan is being undertaken, which will inform provision of outdoor sporting facilities (ovals, change facilities, etc), passive recreation infrastructure (walking paths, etc) and general landscaping.
Planning is also underway for the construction of an aquatic and indoor sports centre, which will be located within the Mernda Sports Hub.
Community consultation was undertaken in 2017 and 2020 to ensure that the facility will suitably reflect the various health and wellbeing needs of our diverse community.
The most recent consultation in 2020 showed that overwhelmingly, residents value the inclusion of lap swimming, warm water exercise, water play and learn-to-swim areas in the proposed facility, as well as indoor and outdoor sports courts.
Council will now explore options that prioritise and balance all of these elements, which will include a comparative feasibility analysis of two options - a 50m lap pool with wellbeing features and a 25m lap pool with wellbeing features – by July 2021. This will provide the evidence required for a comprehensive business case to be developed that balances costs with community health and wellbeing needs.
We understand residents are eager to get construction of this facility underway. When planning for a multi-million-dollar facility like this it’s critical that we get the concept right and that it’s reflective of best-practice leisure principles and community health needs, while also ensuring it has local economic benefit.
Early estimates indicate that MAISC will cost in excess of $50 million, however the business case will provide a more accurate figure and advice on potential staging of construction.
Major projects such as this are expensive and as a local Council, we have a limited budget for capital works projects and many competing priorities.
Council will be actively seeking funding opportunities (including grants) and working in partnership with the state sporting bodies to advocate to State and Federal Governments for funding support.
The comparative feasibility analysis of the two options will be complete by July 2021 and presented to Council for their feedback.