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Works begin at Jube

Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019

From left: AFL Broken Hill Grounds Manager, Steve Quinn, GTE Excavations’ Greg Greene and Project Manager Karl Fritsch on what used to be the bleachers at the canteen end of the oval. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson From left: AFL Broken Hill Grounds Manager, Steve Quinn, GTE Excavations’ Greg Greene and Project Manager Karl Fritsch on what used to be the bleachers at the canteen end of the oval. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Demolition work began at the Jubilee Oval yesterday for its major redevelopment.  

Karl Fritsch, Project Manager, said everyone involved was looking forward to seeing the project progress and the plans that have been in the works for over a decade become a reality. 

The project started slightly behind schedule but the first step was the partial demolition of one third of the southern bleachers which will become the new umpires’ room. 

“Unfortunately, we are three or four weeks behind and that was caused by unforeseen circumstances,” Mr Fritsch said.

“Having said that, we’ve made a blow now and everything should fall into place from now on.” 

The project is set to be completed by the end of March in time for the start of the football season. 

“The bleachers are being demolished but only one third of it. The reason for that is the umpires’ new changeroom of AFL standard will be in that particular location,” he said. 

“The remaining two thirds will stay and they’ll actually be covered so we’ll have a weatherproof cover over the top of the bleachers on the south area and also the north bleachers as well.”

After the grand final this weekend there will be no access to the oval at all.

“There will be no cricket or any sport played on the oval so that we have a chance to get organised with all the contractors,” said Mr Fritsch. 

“What it means is if we close the whole oval there’s probably about twelve different facets of building involved and everyone could be here at once and we can pick up time we may have lost.”

The next step in the project will actually be the footings.

We’ll excavate the footings and then it’ll be the concrete slab that’ll go in for the new visitors, home team and umpires changeroom,” he said. “At the same time we’ll probably be taking down the light towers and putting up new ones.

“After the grand final we’re hoping to replace the fence with a brand new white picket fence, which will definitely have an impact on the whole sight.”

The aim is to upgrade the venue to AFL standards with the intention of attracting AFL preseason games to Broken Hill. 

“We’ve got the greater light intensity with the towers that we’re putting in and the changerooms have been amended a couple of times now to increase the size as required for the AFL,” said Mr Fritsch. 

“It seems that when we started knocking on the door for the funding in 2006 that things have changed over the years, so what we’ve done is brought them up to spec, so we have the best chance of attracting one of those games.”

Mr Fritsch said the project was being put together entirely by local contractors. 

“We’re employing locals, it should be that way in any case because it is a community project, funded by the state government for the community and to get the whole of the community involved is something that we’re very proud of.”

As for this weekend’s grand finals, the organisers understood the inconvenience, Mr Fritsch said.

“We’ve had to bite the bullet because we can’t wait any longer. What will happen is that area where the new changerooms are going to be built will be encompassed by a safety fence and that is off limits to the public and everybody else that may be involved in the AFL.”

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