Melton council will splash an extra $220,000 on a sports pavilion at Fraser Rise.
The total cost for the City Vista Sports Precinct has now blown out to $13 million, with Sunshine George Cross Football Club contributing $1 million towards the project.
Cambridge ward councillor Kathy Majdlik at last week’s meeting, moved to expand the scope of the project to build a roof extension and viewing area at the main pavilion, which would cost about $220,000.
Her recommendation follows a council report which identified a number of potential upgrades not in the original project, including public toilet blocks, roof extensions and laying instant turf.
In the report, council officers said while they didn’t recommend expanding the scope of the project, they warned against delaying a decision on including new items.
Officers said attempting to retro-fit any works to the pavilion would incur increased costs because of disruption to work and the possibility of re-doing works already completed.
“Where we saved money [by not having to remove any rocks] why can’t we put it into the roof extension?” Cr Majdlik said.
“This is a winter game.”
But Coburn ward councillor Sophie Ramsey, said any funding decision should be considered in next year’s budget.
She said the council would like to deliver each and every one of the upgrades but it had already committed $11 million to the project – about $1.5 million over the anticipated costs.
“I think officers now need the time to negotiate with the club to see if there’s any scope for the club to look into getting a council loan [to deliver the upgrades].”
However, Cr Majdlik said while she acknowledged the project was expensive, it made more sense to set aside funding for upgrades during the construction.
Construction on the project has started, with excavation works completed. Early works for the carpark and playing surfaces are under way. Melton council expects the project to be finished in the next 12 months.
Once completed, the precinct will have two grass soccer pitches, two synthetic soccer pitches, umpires rooms, changerooms and canteen space. Sunshine George Cross Football Club will maintain the precinct for 20 years.