Callington Recreation Community Centre finally opens its doors

A decade-long dream has come true where a Besser block shed once stood.

Callington Recreation Park Chairperson Clive Wundersitz is pretty proud of what the Callington Recreation Community Centre has become.

The new near $1 million dollar facility which was opened on Sunday is a far cry from the previous building which had started as a humble shed over 50 years ago.

Originally built from Besser Blocks, the shed evolved throughout the late 20th century with additions of roller doors, a veranda, enclosed glass windows, a kitchen and a bar, representing tireless work almost exclusively done by volunteers.

“I’d like to acknowledge those volunteers for providing a building for us for over 50 years,” Mr Wundersitz said in his remarks to those in attendance on Sunday’s opening.

“As with everything there is a time and you need to change and try to improve,”

Callington Recreation Park Chairperson Clive Wundersitz speaks about the long history to the opening of the building behind him. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

That time came in 2011 when the first set of new plans were conceived for an updated facility.

A further attempt was made in 2014 which would have seen the new building placed between the two ovals at the Callington Recreation Park.

As punters attending afternoon sports would tell you, this would have meant looking into the setting western sun, and this plan was shelved too.

Finally on June 3 2017 plans begun for the newly opened multi-purpose facility which includes a commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, and indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Following a slow build which has some finishing touches still outstanding, the new facility opened on Sunday to excited locals with jumping castles and fireworks to mark to occasion.

The fact that the new building is called a Community Centre was certainly not lost on state MP Adrian Pederick who highlighted the broad scope of contributors to the project ahead of the ribbon cutting.

Being a community venue has seen contributions come from a wide range of sources, including three separate local councils.

“(It’s) one of the broadest funded projects in my fifteen plus years,” Mr Pederick said.

“I rarely see this many funding partners for a project.”

In addition to the $197,000 contributed by the state government, funding came from the federal government, two sporting clubs, twelve local businesses, two townships and two local community groups.

Mr Pederick added that if volunteer hours were taken into consideration the final project cost would greatly exceed the near $1 million price tag.

“It’d be a phenomenal amount if we had to add up all the volunteer hours, especially at nights or on weekends, as people worked so hard to come to the final design of this great project,” he said.

For Mr Wundersitz, that word community extended to the design which took on a wide range of input to satisfy the diverse uses of the site.

“When you are building a house I’m sure you have trouble on agreeing on the colour of the carpet or the handles on the cupboard,” Mr Wundersitz said.

“You can imagine what you go through as you’re building a community centre.

“So we haven’t been able to satisfy everyone but we hope we have been able to build a building that’s adequate for everyone.”

The new building isn’t the only recent development at the Callington Recreation Park.

The Bremer-Callington Cricket Club recently completed an uplift of their turf wickets, thanks in part to a $20,000 dollar grant through the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.