Pool ‘maybe’ won’t hold up WACA plans

• The WACA redevelolpment is expected to start later this year.
 • The presence of pools are still a maybe.
 • The oval will be longer.

  PLANS have been released for the WACA redevelopment, with a big ‘maybe’ hanging over the addition of pools until Perth city council’s agreement and funding has been secured.

The WA Cricket Association says it will stay in discussions with PCC in the hope it will come round on pool funding, but the association will go ahead with the rest of the redevelopment regardless. Works are due to start ahead of the 2021-22 cricket season and scheduled to be done by early 2024, and games can still be played there throughout.

The non-pool works total $75 million: $30m is coming from the federal government, $30m from the state, $4m from Cricket Australia and the WA Cricket Foundation’s working on coming up with $11m.

An extra $25m would be needed for an aquatic facility with a six-lane, 50m pool, a learn-to-swim pool and a fun slide.

Perth city councillors are wary of the costs, plus the $1.4m they project they’ll need to spend on maintenance.

Councillors are this week due to vote on preparing a detailed business plan and to go out to advertising to get the public’s thoughts.

The business plan will take about two months and cost an extra $200,000 in consultancy costs.

Apart from the pool the new plans show:

• A lengthier oval so football and other sports can be played there too;

•  A 10-lane indoor cricket and multi-sport facility;

• A central pavilion with snack outlets and another public cafe;

• A function centre overlooking the grounds;

• Dedicated gym, change room and recovery facilities for “elite” players;

• Community health club, sports medicine and rehabilitation sensor; and,

• A re-built museum about the grounds’ history.

The existing Inverarity and Prindiville Stands will be demolished, along with the current museum, cafe, turf shed and western Barry Shepherd Entry. But the old manual scoreboard will be kept in place.

by DAVID BELL 

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