Oval upgrade delayed

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Camden Oval’s $6 million revamp will be delayed in part yet again because of a budget blowout in its first stage.

Upgrades to the football oval, junior soccer pitch, netball courts, landscaping and carpark at the Novar Gardens sports hub will not begin this year through lack of funds.

West Torrens Council and sports clubs are working out the costing and seeking State Government funding before a revised start date can be decided, which will most likely be in spring next year.

New clubrooms for the football club and extensions for the soccer club building will still go ahead as part of the project’s second stage, with completion of the clubrooms expected in April.

The first stage – a synthetic soccer pitch for West Torrens Birkalla Soccer Club – will be completed early next year, six months after the original deadline.

A council spokeswoman said the project scope had been reduced to make sure “higher priority works” – the club buildings – would be constructed.

“After final designs were approved by the council, and the procurement process was undertaken, it was evident that the approved budget would not cover all elements of the project,” she said.

“As at 30 June 2018, approximately $650,000 has been spent on the total project.”

She also said the soccer club had sought up to $250,000 for lighting and other minor infrastructure upgrades but the cost had not yet been finalised.

The long-awaited project had previously been delayed because of disagreements between the council and the football and soccer clubs that use the oval.

The redevelopment was finally given the go-ahead in August 2017.

PHOS Camden Football Club president Mike Hamilton said the club was disappointed the project scope had to be reduced to meet the available budget.

“In regards to timelines we have been working on this project for many years and are unfortunately conditioned to delays,” he said.

“We are appreciative of the council funding the upgrades. So, whilst we are disappointed with the council shortfall, it would not happen without them.”

Mr Hamilton was grateful also to the Adelaide Footy League, the SANFL and opposition clubs who were flexible with allocation of games during the upgrade, as well as members, parents and volunteers “who have had their patience tested”.

He is planning to write to the football authorities in a bid to find a training location for senior players in anticipation of upgrades next year as “there is a shortage of football training grounds” in Adelaide.

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