Far from just a few courts, the vision for the the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports hub is a thriving hub buzzing with community life. A place where young and old want to be.
Imagine walking in to a welcoming cafe looking out through viewing windows to a pre-school group learning early ball skills on court 1. People in their 60s & 70s are playing walking basketball on court 2. Teenage futsal and volleyball games are going to the wire on courts 3 & 4. A hard-fought adult netball game on court 5 is riveting. While on court 6 the circus acrobatics class is working on acrobatic silks hung from the inbuilt rafter attachments.
You are struck by the simple but beautiful design, the natural materials, passive ventilation and the impression of welcoming warmth; not the cold factory feel of poorly designed stadiums that no-one ever wants to linger in.
Posters on the wall highlight a school concert soon on the showcourts with the retractable seating for 1500.
As you return to your cafe table with a fresh coffee you look up to see friends chatting as they head in to play squash on one of the six squash courts. Teenagers at the next table are enjoying a space to hang out between school and a game next hour and some other teeneagers are studyng at table while they inhale milkshakes and rolls. You sip your coffee and notice that the wall between squash courts A & B is being swung aside by staff to make a larger combined space for the Table Tennis club. An elderly citizens club is arriving for a meeting in the green meeting room and the sound of baby giggles heralds a new mothers group arriving with babes in arms to catch up in the blue room.
The hub avoids the industrial shed feel of many Council facilities. It is bathed in natural light, warm in winter, cool in summer, comfortable seating, inviting and multi-use. And as a result, the facility is in constant use by the whole community. A place to be proud of. To hang out. For generations to come. Because we took the time to really get it right first time; both playing spaces and shared public spaces. Because community-building is important.