Parks & Recreation

French Fields Amenities Block

Published: 06 Dec 2019 10:26am

Wagga Wagga City Council has hit a home run for the wider softball fraternity, completing a new amenity block at French Fields in time for the new year.

Project Manager Adrian Inglis revealed Council handed over the keys to the Wagga Softball Association earlier this week after reaching “practical completion” of the facility on Saturday.

“The final tasks mainly involved fitting out the facility, particularly the canteen area, painting, laying carpet, installing the partitions and completing the landscaping,” Mr Inglis said.

“We are thrilled with the result.”

The new amenities block includes a kiosk, meeting room, toilets and change rooms, separate umpires’ rooms and four storage rooms.

Wagga Softball president Deanna McNaughton described the new complex as “fantastic” and an enormous asset to the growing sport, its community and the association’s future.

“It’s very exciting to have access to this fantastic new facility,” Ms McNaughton said.

“We are especially grateful to have the new canteen… it’s at least five times the size of our old canteen, which was truly tiny and an absolute hot box.

“We were very limited in what we could do, and the meals we could offer, because we only had limited space and very basic facilities.”

Ms McNaughton believes access to a modern kiosk will not only improve the association’s canteen options but better its financial viability.

“Our canteen is how we make money to cover costs like our umpires,” Ms McNaughton said.

“The ability to offer a lot more options, and more meals, it will really help us financially.”

Having access to a meeting room is also another huge coup for the association, which hopes to attract sought-after carnivals in the future.

“We’ve had PSSA carnivals and even CHS carnivals at French Fields in the past, but our facilities just were not good enough to host events any bigger than those,” Ms McNaughton said.

“Now we have a fully equipped meeting room, where officials can convene the event, we could look at hosting those bigger carnivals.”

Wagga Softball Association volunteers will make the most of this weekend’s competition bye to begin stocking the new canteen, moving in furniture and unpacking equipment into new storage areas.

“We will use the new amenities in a small capacity during our final round of competition for 2019 next weekend,” Ms McNaughton said.

“We’ll be completely up and running when competition returns in February next year.”

The association plans to mark the opening of its new amenities block as part its 50th anniversary celebration next year.
“At the moment we’re looking at a semi-formal dinner on Friday April 3 to celebrate the end of our milestone, 50th season,” Ms McNaughton said.

“We plan to tie the official opening of the new amenities block in with those celebrations… we’re just how we will do it yet.”

The amenities block is the jewel in the $1.2M French Fields redevelopment crown, which also includes new lighting, improved stormwater drainage and a soon-to-be-completed carpark.

Construction of the new carpark will start on 6 January 2020 and will take seven weeks to complete.

New asphalt will be laid through the carpark and new kerb and gutter will be constructed.

There are also a few new light poles with LED lighting going in.

The State Government has allocated $820,000 to the upgrade through the Stronger Country Communities Fund with Council contributing another $380,000 to the project.