AFTER years of planning, Norwood Football Club could have the green light to upgrade its Ringwood clubhouse.
The $1.6 million project is almost fully funded. The club has sent off an application for a $400,000 state government grant and, last night, Maroondah Council was due to vote on a further $700,000 in funding — should the state government application be successful.
The result of the vote was not known before the Weekly's printing deadline but the council meeting agenda showed a recommendation to support the upgrade.
The council had already committed $100,000 to the project and the club has a benefactor who has promised a further $400,000 in funding.
Club president Mark Etherington said the upgrade was desperately needed at the Mullum Mullum Reserve site, with the current facilities being 50 years old.
"It is way too small, it leaks and there is no shelter for spectators," Mr Etherington said.
"We are one of the largest sports clubs in Victoria with 17 junior football teams alone — then add cricket and other users and we simply do not have the space. It simply does not meet the needs."
The proposal has been in the pipeline for years and Mr Etherington stressed that the development would not just be a facility for Norwood but for all of Maroondah, as there would be options for community groups to use the space. The upgrade design includes a multipurpose room, shelter, grand stand, first aid rooms, change-rooms and a gym area.
Mr Etherington said the club planned to make an application to the AFL and federal government for extra funding.
He said Mullum ward councillor Nora Lamont had worked closely with the club to see this project get the green light, lobbying her fellow councillors.
Cr Lamont said the upgrade would be great for the whole community as there were many groups needing a space for meetings.
Mr Etherington said if all went to plan work would start in September next year.