Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s Somerville Recreation and Community Centre has been reopened, three years since its former facility was destroyed by fire.
Reopened today by Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula, the rebuilt venue has been repaired and upgraded with an expanded indoor stadium that will give clubs improved access to court space and flexibility to schedule games and training.
The rebuilt venue now offers four indoor multi-sport courts – doubling its former capacity – along with female friendly change rooms, an umpires change room, first aid room, tournament office, storage space and better accessible public facilities and parking.
Home to the Western Port Steelers and headquarters of the Western Port Basketball Association with more than 130 registered teams and nearly 2000 members, the venue is also used by the Baxter Indoor Netball Association and Mornington Peninsula Badminton Inc.
Rebuilt at a cost of $9 million, the Council was able to secure almost $1.3 million in funding from the Victorian Government’s Better Indoor Stadiums Fund for the project
The Fund is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to getting Victorians up and active and has distributed more than $630 million towards community sport and recreation facilities since 2014, benefitting 10 stadiums across Victoria since 2016
The reopened facility is managed by Belgravia Leisure which extended its partnership with the Council for the management and operation of the Centre at the beginning of this year.
Belgravia Leisure currently manages the Pelican Park Recreation Centre, Civic Reserve Recreation Centre, Crib Point Pool, Western Port Gymnastics at Hastings Hub and All Access outreach programs, for the Council.
Following the opening, Somerville Health & Fitness Studio will cease operation and wellness programming will be provided from the rebuilt centre.
Commenting on its management of the rebuild facilty, Belgravia Leisure Area Manager Ben Walker recently advised “as (the) Council’s only four-court stadium we are looking forward to making the Somerville Recreation Centre a community hub through indoor sports such as basketball, badminton and netball as well as a variety of wellness classes, including reformer Pilates, yoga and meditation classes”.
“Belgravia Leisure understands there is a lot of history attached to this facility with the devastating fire in May 2016 and we are keen to restore the sporting heart of Somerville from May 2019.”
This article first appeared in ALM Magazine and was republished with permission.