Forest Sports Centre is set to spend $240,000 in upgrades including the installation of the community’s first public toilet.
The community centre received $170,000 from the Tasmanian Community Fund to upgrade its tennis court, along with new lighting, fencing and an all abilities public toilet.
Circular Head Council has committed an additional $30,000 to support the project, along with $30,000 from the Forest Sports Centre and $10,000 of labour in kind from volunteers.
“The land as bought from Norwood Estate by the community of Forest in 1923,” said treasurer Tyrone Morrison, with the tennis court built in 1930.
Thought to be cemented in the 1950s or ‘60s, the court now has cracks an inch wide in places.
“It’s not been used in the last 20 years or so, only by a few of us kids who used to knock around for the odd comp,” said Tyrone, hoping to change that.
The new court will be slightly smaller than the standard netball court allowing for Smithton’s tennis and netball clubs to utilise the space.
“We really want the community to take ownership of it and respect it,” he said of the free access.
With work set to start next month, volunteers will demolish the existing surface to make way for a new concrete slab. Work will be carried out by local contractors including Wallace and Walters Builders, PWD Contracting, Todd Blake Plumbing, Circular Head Electrical, Smithton Metalworx and Launceston based asphalt contractors Blacktac.
“It’s obviously been a big task over the past 12 months for the current committee but it has been a project that has been in the pipeline for a couple of decades,” said Tyrone in thanking those who had contributed, including Joan Wylie for her guidance throughout the application process, and Rodney Franks for the architectural drawings.
With more work to be done, the committee has a five year plan mapped out including a new carpark, squaring up of the building and upgrading the kitchen. The new courts are expected to be completed by September.
The next round of the Tasmanian Community Fund opens on Saturday January 25. To find out more or apply, visit www.tascomfund.org.
Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam with Forest Sports Centre treasurer Tyrone Morrison, secretary Rebecca Korpershoek and president Donovan Lockett at the tennis court soon to be upgraded.