The Wodonga Council has denied the $1 million tennis centre upgrade is running behind schedule with construction preparations having started.
A Victorian government spokesman earlier projected the work would be finished in time for this summer’s profitable competition season.
But the council now says it won’t be ready until next summer.
Ten trees and some internal fencing have been removed to make way for the replacement of the 10 clay courts with an international standard plexicushion surface that is hoped to attract major tournaments to the centre.
The Victorian government put $574,700 towards the upgrade more than 12 months ago, with matching funding of $343,000 from Wodonga Council and $181,000 from Tennis Australia.
Wodonga councillor Anna Speedie said the upgrades were running on schedule and it was anticipated the project would be finished by May 31 next year, well in time for the next summer.
“As per this schedule, the awarding of the construction contract is due this month and it is anticipated this milestone will be met,” she said.
“The project will be delivered as per the activity schedule completed by the council and Sport and Recreation Victoria.”
The centre’s president, Sandra Griffin, who is part of the council working party, said they had been under the impression it would be completed earlier.
“We were just hoping I suppose, but we have to go with their schedule,” she said.
“We would have liked to be playing on them as soon as we got the money, but that’s not how it works I’m afraid.”
Mrs Griffin said the first layer of the court’s surfacing had to be laid while the weather was still warm.
“It needs to be done in the heat,” she said.
“They should be doing it now.”
Mrs Griffin said she wouldn’t say she was excited the preparation for the upgrades had begun but was “at least happy we can see something being done”.
“I won’t be excited until it’s finished,” she said.
“It will not only be good for the tennis centre but will also mean a boost for the community as well.”