Shared use community sports facility: St Andrews

Description: The Catholic Diocese, Department of Coummunities and the Cairns City Council, jointly funded a community sports facility at St Andrews Catholic College Redlynch. The key element of this joint funding was that the sports facility was available for use by community groups such as local soccer, netball and rugby clubs. One of the major components of allowing this shared use of facilities is a comprehensive management agreement, which includes the following aspects:

  • a board of management to oversee the management, maintenance and booking of the facility
  • affordable rental frees and equitable usage for local community and sporting clubs
  • planned usage times for school use and community use
  • shared maintenance costs between school and regular users.

Achievements:

  • Development of a community facility on Catholic Diocese land which will be used by sporting clubs before and after school hours and on weekends, allowing school use during school hours.

Lessons learnt:

  • Finalise lease arrangements and detail design as soon as possible
  • Conduct regular project meetings to ensure all items are discussed and covered and develop contingency plans
  • The process was lengthy, and there was a turnover of people involved, which slowed the delivery of the joint facility. Where possible, keep the same core group of people involved in the project from start to finish. Document decisions and outstanding actions and responsibilities along the way to ensure that there is sufficient information available to handover to new participants
  • Department of Communities changed the requirements for their funding program to allow the government to co-fund this facility. An important proviso for this is the development of the management plan that states the rules on use of the facility by the public and also requires high level sign off for any changes to the management plan to ensure the continuation of public use
  • Other examples of shared use of private facilities include the Somerville House Aquatic and Sports Centre which houses an Olympic sized pool and well equipped and resourced gymnasium for a fee, as do many of the universities in Brisbane. There are opportunities to develop community use of private tennis courts and gymnasiums in medium to high density residential buildings.
 For more information, contact the Cairns Regional Council Sport and Recreation and Community Development Division on 07 4044 3044