A BENALLA teenager saw his vision realised yesterday when the city’s refurbished grandstand was unveiled.
Codi Kego, 16, held concerns the structure at Benalla Gardens Oval was unsafe after suffering extensive damage as a result of the 2010 floods.
“I was worried it would collapse, it wasn’t safe,” Codi said.
“I used to play football there and wanted it to look good for the children that use it.”
The former junior footballer wrote to the Benalla Ensign and Member for Benalla Bill Sykes expressing his concerns.
“The facility had been in poor shape for many years but the floods exasperated the damage,” Dr Sykes said.
“The grandstand is a much-loved community icon and repairing the under section, which was inundated in both 2010 flood events, has restored it to its former glory.
“It will also prevent future flood damage.”
The Victorian Coalition government provided $129,000 towards the $173,000 restoration project, through the government’s flood recovery community infrastructure fund.
In addition to the government’s contribution, $20,000 was provided by Benalla Council, a further $20,000 from the Benalla Cricket Club, as well as $4000 of in-kind support.
The project involved restoring the grandstand’s electricity supply, waterproofing the slab and building, as well as replacing gutters and expanding the capacity of the downpipes.
Other work included repairs to the changerooms, ceilings damaged by poor drainage capacity, repairing and refitting the kitchen to prevent future flood damage and painting the grandstand.
Dr Sykes said the reserve was home to a host of Benalla sporting clubs and organisations, including the Benalla Cricket Club, Benalla and District Cricket Association and Benalla Junior Football League.
“The reserve is widely regarded as one the best places to play cricket in country Victoria, having hosted international stars including Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar and former Australian coach Darren Lehmann,” he said.