Youth Centre upgrade plans met with lukewarm enthusiasm

The plans for the upgrade of the Cobar Youth & Fitness Centre

The plans for the upgrade of the Cobar Youth & Fitness Centre were met with lukewarm enthusiasm when they were unveiled at Cobar Shire Council’s community consultation meeting last Wednesday.

With only a relatively small budget of a
$1.2million grant to work with, Council’s general manager Peter Vlatko said they won’t be able to please everyone but they are spending on areas where they will get the “best bang for their buck”.

“We have to try and work with what we’ve got,” Mr Vlatko said.

“We have an old building. It’s not just for youth, it is a community facility.”

Council’s project manager Tanya Gilbert outlined the plans for the upgrade, which will include a new layout downstairs but does not allow for public access upstairs.

Mrs Gilbert said once they start doing upgrade work to the building, it’s mandated by Government that the public areas all be accessible. She said their budget won’t stretch to installing a lift for disabled people to gain access the second floor (which contains a dance space, gym and a viewing area over the squash/Squalleyball courts).

As part of the upgrade work, there will be changes to the entry and the front counter will be relocated closer to the front entrance which will make for better supervision.

The kitchen is to be extended and will open to an outdoor cafeteria with decking which will link in with the adjacent park precinct.

Mrs Gilbert said the aim was to make  whole area look more inviting.

The toilet, showers and sauna facilities will be upgraded, and the front walls of the squash courts (on the internal hallway) will be replaced with glass panelling so that games can be watched.

A new roof will be installed and the youth drop-in area will be made larger.

Having no access to the upstairs area will affect a number of user groups, including the line dancers, a number of whom attended last week’s consultation meeting.

Mr Vlatko assured them (and others who will be adversely affected by the changes) that council would work with them to find to try and find a solution.