More than half-a-million dollars will be spent redeveloping facilities at Lake Barrington.
In a development application currently before the Kentish Council, Rowing Tasmania has outlined plans to renovate existing facilities and construct new buildings at the site.
Ahead of the 2019 federal election, the Kentish Council had a $450,000 redevelopment of the facilities on their funding wishlist.
And that wish has come true, and then some, as the facilities will be upgraded with a $750,000 grant through the federal government’s Community Development Grants Program.
Rowing Tasmania executive officer Rob Prescott told The Advocate the grant was submitted through the Mersey-Forth Recreation Management Committee.
The development application outlines an estimate of works worth about $600,000, but Mr Prescott said the full redevelopment would likely be closer to $850,000.
The centrepiece of the redevelopment is the existing boat shed, which will be renovated to include a cafe, seating area and museum featuring the 1926 Kings Cup Wooden Eight.
The classic boat will be housed behind glass in museum-type facilities and the walls will be adorned with interpretive signage about the history and future of rowing.
“At our last count there are 40 – 50,000 people visiting the course on a year basis so we really want to make this a community facility,” Mr Prescott said.
“There will be a substantial benefit to the general public.”
To that end, the public shelter rotunda will also be redeveloped with modern materials, and a public barbecue will be installed.
“The Lake Barrington facilities are coming up to being in excess of 30-years-old. They were built for the 1990 World Rowing Championships. The infrastructure needs attention.”
In March 2021, COVID-19 restrictions notwithstanding, Lake Barrington will host the national rowing championships.
“There is an awful lot of work being done every day to get us there.”
The existing change rooms will also be renovated and will become the Davies Bay Lodge, and a range of toilet and shower facilities will be installed on the site.
The West Australian-based Modus group is constructing the pre-fabricated toilet facilities and much of the project will utilise recycled materials, which Mr Prescott said was key to Rowing Tasmania’s ethos.
“We’re hoping to have a green a footprint as possible,” he said.
He said the construction will also utilise as many North-West and Kentish-based businesses and contractors as possible.
The development application and associated projects are before the Kentish Council, which met last night.