MAINTENANCE ISSUES PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY
The long awaited Structural Engineer�s report on the Jubilee Oval grandstand has been presented to Kogarah Council. While Kogarah Council have stated that the report is confidential, the St. George Leader has discovered that there are issues that need to be addressed to maintain the grandstand in working order.
The report has confirmed that the Jubilee grandstand has no 'major structural' problems but some faults which need to be addressed.
The St. George Leader states:
"Some of them are technical and arise from changes to the Building Code of Australia since the grandstand was built in 1989. For example, balustrading on the grandstand is horizontal but the code now stipulates it should be vertical. And emergency lighting needs upgrading. As well, the grandstand�s roof will need replacing in another five years."
The report by Woolacotts Consulting Engineers will allow the council and club to work through the maintenance issues. However, as the June 2001 report on the grandstand confirmed, under the Deed of Licence between the St. George Leagues Club and Kogarah Council, it is the Club�s responsibility to carry out all repairs and maintenance associated with the Oval, which includes all buildings and facilities.
If the club wishes to take a proactive stance, the maintenance issues provide the club with a window of opportunity. The club can concentrate on the repairs required and also make the sort of smaller, boutique and temporary changes to corporate facilities. It would be more cost effective for the club to make the improvements to corporate facilities while making the repairs to the grandstand, rather than making the desired changes to corporate facilities at a later date. This would involve the club using the licence until its expiration in 2011 and then making plans for additional redevelopment and a new licence.
The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that the Dragons are hopeful of playing two matches at Kogarah in 2003. While R2K supports 50% of Dragons� home games at Kogarah, the commitment to at least two games at Kogarah each season as well as training would result in club expenditure commensurate with the use levels.
On the other hand, while making the necessary repairs, the club can negotiate a new licence beyond 2011 with Kogarah Council and ensure that any proposed redevelopments are included and planned for. Clearly, the ball is in the Club�s court.