Crusoe College awaits new oval

Crusoe College has been without an oval for four years, and looks set to wait longer as no end date is in sight for the construction of its new sports ground.

Since the start of the school rebuild in 2008, college students have been forced to use nearby Dower Park and Kangaroo Flat YMCA for sport classes.

The new school was built on the existing sports grounds and the old buildings then demolished to install a new oval in mid-2010. But years on, the oval is still fenced in and there is no word on when grass will be planted.

This means year 10 students will graduate never having used a school oval.

College principal Ben Johnstone-McCloud said they were waiting for ideal weather conditions to top-seed the oval.

“The design of the oval includes a number of water-saving features, including drought-tolerant grass,” he said.

Mr Johnstone-McCloud said the oval was being developed as a joint facility with the City of Greater Bendigo, which was in charge of the top-seeding process, a claim supported by the Department of Education.

“The City of Greater Bendigo installed the oval’s irrigation system and has done the seeding work to date, and will complete the top-seeding when the weather conditions allow for the best results,” a department spokesman said.

But when the Bendigo Advertiser contacted the City of Greater Bendigo it denied being involved in maintaining the oval.

Acting manager of recreation Lincoln Fitzgerald said council had identified a lack of open space in the area around Crusoe College and was interested in joint use of the school’s new oval, but had made no formal commitment to the project yet.

The oval still remained a Department of Education asset, he said. 

“We don’t maintain it.” 

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