Shoalhaven City Council has released a design report for the proposed $14 million upgrade of Artie Smith Oval at Bomaderry to a state level facility for Australian Football, cricket and croquet.
The work will continue the planned Shoalhaven Community and Recreational Precinct, which was subject of a strategic master planning study (Regional Sports and Community Precinct Master Planning Study) undertaken for council by Acclimate Pty Ltd and finalised in February 2017.
The oval upgrade will be adjacent to the $16.4 million Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre (SISC) which was completed in October 2019.
In October last year it was announced the NSW Government had allocated $8 million from the bushfire local economies fund to the project, while council had set aside a further $6 million.
There are also plans to further extend the precinct on the other side of Cambewarra Road at the Bomaderry Sporting Complex.
Artie Smith Oval exists as a long term sporting venue for the Bomaderry Cricket and Bomaderry AFL clubs as well as being a meaningful public open space for the adjoining residential neighbourhood.
The oval has an approximate area of 57,000 square metres (5.7Ha) and includes a cricket and AFL oval, cricket and AFL amenity building, gravel car park, and significant stands of native vegetation along the western and southern edges of the site.
The oval has been recently narrowed to allow room for the SISC and has an undesirable east-west orientation and cross fall of approximately three metres from west to east.
There are steeper slopes to the south-eastern corner with large stockpiles of spoil, the product of construction earthworks at the adjoining SISC, which will be remediated as terrace platforms suitably sized and constructed for use as croquet courts.
The upgrade aims to provide a state level standard facility with major elements including - a new AFL / cricket oval (165 x 150m minimum) with five turf pitches, lighting (to 500 lux), irrigation, drainage, picket fencing, electronic scoreboard, sight screens, spectator seating/ mounding, AFL / cricket clubhouse and amenities, cricket practice facility (four synthetic pitches, four turf pitches, storage shed), perimeter security fencing (1.8m palisade fence), four croquet courts (32 x 26.2m each), a croquet clubhouse and amenities.
The upgrade aims to provide a state level standard facility with major elements including - a new AFL / cricket oval with five turf pitches, lighting, irrigation, drainage, picket fencing, electronic scoreboard, sight screens, spectator seating/ mounding, AFL / cricket clubhouse and amenities, cricket practice facility, perimeter security fencing, four croquet courts, a croquet clubhouse and amenities.
There will also be on-site car parking (minimum 60 spaces) and open space with pathways, landscaping, furniture, play areas etc.
The oval upgrade aims to be a functional venue for the respective sports at state and local level while also retaining an attractive community park character.
The design retains and embellishes the significant stands of native trees, will use low maintenance materials, provide an accessible site for all ages and abilities with a legible, safe, and comfortable facility for users and spectators.
The buildings aim to sit comfortably among the semi-bushland setting using durable and robust materials (brick, steel, concrete and some hardwood).
The AFL/cricket clubhouse will be located in the south-west corner of the site and will have two separated main pavilions and a sheltered spectator area in between.
The building form tapers from high, open and inviting at its northern 'social' end, to more enclosed at its southern 'change room' end.
This tapering form allows the line of eucalypts behind to remain significant in the sense of enclosure to the field and as an amenity to the streetscape.
The croquet club has been situated to the southeast of the site.
The design of the club will utilise the retaining wall character of the croquet court platform by wrapping the continuing masonry wall that wraps the southern end and the clubhouse in brick as a continuation of the retaining walls.
Work on the oval upgrade is expected to start after the Koori Knockout over the October long weekend which will be held at the oval and at the Bomaderry Sporting Complex.
The South Coast Black Cockatoos won the 2019 Koori Rugby League knockout defeating Griffith Three Ways 40-12 and by doing so won the right to host the event the following year.
The 50th anniversary knockout was to be held in the Shoalhaven in 2020 but was cancelled and rescheduled due to COVID-19.