Fremantle want to establish a $30 million training and administration facility within five years as part of a redevelopment of historic Fremantle Oval.
The redevelopment would create a mixed-use community facility which would also incorporate space for South Fremantle Football Club and University of Notre Dame. The ambitious plan, which hinges on the Department of Lands approving a fresh use for the Stan Reilly Centre which is next to the ground on the south side, would incorporate part of the club's existing administration and training centre built 11 years ago.
The City of Fremantle recommended last month that the Department of Lands approve the site's new use. The City, South Fremantle, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the AFL have also been involved in the club's planning for the development which would more than double the size of the Dockers' existing presence at its spiritual home to about 7500sq m.
The Dockers investigated sites at Murdoch University and within the City of Cockburn in case they were unable to redevelop the ground. Chief executive Steve Rosich said the Dockers would continue to investigate a site in Cockburn's Central West as a back-up training venue, or a site for training facilities, if the club was unable to proceed with its plans for Fremantle Oval.
"Fremantle Oval is our current and spiritual home," he said. "However, the significance and complexity of this project, including the limitations of the current site and the significant costs involved, dictate that we should continue to conduct due diligence on alternative sites while progressing the master plan for the Fremantle Oval precinct.
The Fremantle Oval master plan includes:
·Retention of the heritage-listed Victoria Pavilion.
·A main building on the ground's southern wing which would house the Dockers and South Fremantle, albeit in separate areas.
·The University of Notre Dame's proposed health sciences faculty.
·A large indoor training facility.
·A function centre.
Rosich said the club was quietly confident the master plan would go ahead. "The club component of the development will be in the order of $30 million with a funding plan to be finalised early next year," he said.
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