# Whitten Oval upgrade plans leaked

A public swimming pool and gym could form part of a proposed $12 million redevelopment of Whitten Oval.

Details of the proposal are contained in a confidential report that Maribyrnong Council accidentally uploaded on to its website.

The council’s draft plans reveal a community recreation precinct may be created to cater to Footscray’s projected population growth over the next 10 to 15 years.2015

The precinct could have a 25m eight-lane pool, gym and change room in Barkly St near the oval entrance.

The proposal states infrastructure improvements are required to make the ground suitable for Footscray Bulldogs VFL games, including two coaching boxes, change rooms and game day spaces.

The upgrades would be funded by a range of sources, including State Government grants, the AFL and Western Bulldogs and potential private investment.

The council’s contribution was expected to be about $4.5 million across two years starting in 2015/16, the report said.

It would be the first major redevelopment since 2005 when the oval underwent a $19.5 million renovation.

The project would also ­deliver a new public space for community events and festivals.

Bulldogs chief executive Simon Garlick said while the club was keen to explore infrastructure enhancements to support both football and community use, it was too early to say what the future may hold.

But Mr Garlick said the club was excited to be bringing football back to Whitten Oval this year.

The club’s last competitive match at the oval was in 1997 when it defeated the West Coast Eagles.

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