Mayor Stephen Bali says multi-million dollar upgrades at Whalan Reserve formed part of a plan to turn Blacktown into a sporting hub.
Blacktown Council’s master plan for the reserve, home to clubs including Rooty Hill Dragons, Rooty Hill Power and the Blacktown District Cricket Association, is taking shape.
More than 300 trees will be planted around fields to provide shelter for spectators, while construction of the Dragons’ new $1.8 million amenities building is nearing completion.
In a Sydney first, the new facility will boast four separate changerooms – which will allow for simultaneous use by male and female teams.
Speaking after a sneak peak tour on Tuesday, Rooty Hill Dragons president Bob Hemling said the new facilities was an upgrade on the club’s ageing sheds.
“This will boost our membership and attract more kids and families to the club,” he said.
The building will also provide extra storage, disabled toilets, a canteen and first-aid room, a functions box and scorer and timekeeper stations.
Cr Bali said the facility should be finished within the next two months.
“Construction on this block is well passed the half-way mark,” he said.
“The tree planting is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to implement the $5.8 million master plan for Whalan Reserve.”
The council had already spent $2.2 million on building a new avenue and car parking for visitors to the site.
Next in line is a $3.6 million revamp of cricket and AFL facilities at the reserve.
Work will include installing turf practice wickets, added storage to the shared amenities building for grounds maintenance vehicles and covers and additional paths and parking spaces.
Cr Bali said the council had ambitious goals for sport in Blacktown.
“We want to bring a university to Blacktown and create a centre of sports training excellence at Blacktown International Sports Park,” he said.
“Having those facilities in the area will not only provide juniors with high performance pathways, it will bring a lot of sports knowledge to Blacktown.”