Irymple Community Leisure Centre reopens after Remembrance Day storm
Published on 08 August 2017
One of Council’s largest and most severely damaged buildings in the wake of last year’s Remembrance Day storm has reopened again.
The Irymple Community Leisure Centre opened its doors this week following eight months of major repair works.
Last November’s storm caused major damage to the facility’s roof, main stadium area, squash courts, foyer and function rooms, forcing its closure - in the process leaving the many community and sporting groups that regularly use the facility without a venue.
While the building was being assessed and subsequent repairs carried out, Council worked closely with user groups to ensure that wherever possible temporary facilities or venues could be arranged.
Due to the scale of the damage, works were carried out in three major areas: roof rectification, squash court upgrades and internal refurbishment.
Councillor for Recreation and Sport Mark Eckel said Council took advantage of the major works to improve or upgrade the building where possible to ensure it can better cope with future storms, as well as improving facilities for the community.
Works to the roof included replacing and increasing the capacity of gutters, replacing roof sheets, and providing more overflow capability in heavy rain events.
“In addition to the obvious repairs that needed to be completed to the roof, these works were aimed at reducing the impact of future major weather events causing similar damage,” Cr Eckel said.
Storm damage to the squash court area meanwhile was limited to the floor coverings, ceiling and lighting, which were badly damaged due to water inundation.
The squash courts themselves escaped damage, however Council took the opportunity while the facility was a work site to redo line-marking on the courts, upgrade the lights and repaint the squash court walls in a bid to provide improved facilities for players.
The internal refurbishment represented a major suite of works due to the extent of the damage.
Works involved demolition of all water-damaged materials, including the entire ceiling in both function rooms and the foyer area, and removal of existing lighting and floor coverings.
A new suspended ceiling, ceiling insulation and plywood wall lining were installed in both upper and lower function rooms.
The dance floor in the upper function room was sanded and polished and the entire facility has received new floor coverings.
Council’s contractors also replaced the stage wall lining in the basketball court area and sanded and polished the basketball stage surface.
Total cost of the works was $326,661, the majority of which was covered by Council’s insurers.
Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne said it was pleasing to see yet another sign of recovery from last November’s storms, which impacted on almost every sector in the community.
“It’s fantastic to see a community facility like this, which is used by so many groups, reopen again,” Cr Milne said.
“However, it also illustrates the severe impact the storm had on our region and the fact that there are still groups, residents and industry sectors, such as our horticulture industry, that are still very much in the recovery phase,” Cr Milne said.
Cr Eckel thanked the many user groups who use the Irymple Community Leisure Centre for their patience and cooperation throughout the past eight months.
“We’ve worked closely with the user groups throughout this process to ensure they were informed, as well as helping them with alternative arrangements while the repairs were carried out,” he said.
“They’ve been fantastic throughout what would have been a difficult eight months for them and we certainly appreciate their patience and understanding.”
A community event is planned to mark the official reopening of the building in coming weeks, which will be publicised closer to the date.
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