A PROJECT seven years in the making and described as an “excellent example of the council, government and community coming together to deliver state-of-the-art facilities” in Mornington is awaiting state government approval.
The Alexandra Park Pavilion redevelopment in Main Street will involve the co-location of allied health and medical suites from The Bays hospital into new buildings also housing existing cricket, football and netball clubs and recreation facilities.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council last week submitted a combined planning scheme amendment and planning permit application to Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
“We’re looking forward to a prompt and positive response from the minister, enabling the innovative co-location of allied health services and recreational use at Alexandra Park,” Cr Anthony Marsh said.
The council is providing $2 million to the $5.2 million project, the federal government $2.6 million, and the AFL $100,000, while members of the Alexandra Park Project Group have contributed almost $900,000 from their own pockets over several years – $400,000 for new rooms, $130,000 for the masterplan, and $350,000 for the “best cricket nets on the peninsula” with the key driver being long-time Mornington Cricket Club member and builder Michael Filippone.
The master plan being drawn up by James Millar Architects will consider improved ground lighting, public toilets and spectator areas, upgraded player amenities and female-friendly facilities. The pavilion will have extra storage space, a larger social space with kitchen and bar to be used by sporting and community groups.
Project group treasurer Martin Scanlon and president Michael Wunderley have lived and breathed the development for the past seven years.
Mr Scanlon said he had “never known a project that had received so much goodwill from the community” with foundation member honour boards to be erected once the buildings were complete.
He said combining medical facilities from The Bays with sporting and activities groups was farsighted. “The two groups each have 100 years of history behind them and we saw an opportunity to combine them in a central Mornington location with better facilities,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to it all happening and to see the connection with all the community groups.”
Mr Scanlon said several years ago there were plans to sell Alexandra Park. “I think it is great that it was never sold as it remains a pivotal part of Mornington,” he said.
The Bays Healthcare Group said it was “proud to be a part of this true community partnership, joining with the shire and local sporting clubs to deliver health, wellness and rehabilitation services”.
“With a history of 90 years and counting, we look forward to serving the people of the Mornington Peninsula with high-quality, holistic healthcare services for generations to come,” CEO Jade Phelan said.
Alexandra Park is opposite the hospital and planned comprehensive cancer centre. “Patients and the community will be able to access physical rehabilitation and healthy lifestyle programs, vital to improving their recovery and enhancing quality of life,” Ms Phelan said.
“The Bays’ orthopaedic surgeons, sports specialists and allied health professionals will be available to treat the broader community in an approachable environment familiar to many through their use of our local sporting clubs.”
The project’s timeline will depend on Mr Wynne’s approval of the permit and planning application, possibly by December. This would be followed by tendering in March 2022, contracts signed in June and the 12-month building schedule starting between July and September.