The $4.9 million stage one construction of the Donaldson Park Community Hub in Wedderburn is set to start in September, provided there are no delays over soil contamination.
Loddon Shire Council awarded the contract for the project to construction firm Searle Brothers during an in-camera item at its July council meeting.
Stage one of the project will see the construction of a new multisport and community-focused pavilion. It will also include the construction of a carpark, solar installation with batteries, pavement works and landscaping.
Design is underway for stage two of the project, which includes a new multi-faceted playspace for all abilities, landscaping and internal paths.
While work on stage one is scheduled to begin soon, it may be delayed after arsenic was found in the soil.
Shire director of operations Steve Phillips said it was quite common to find naturally occurring arsenic in the soil around the central Victorian goldfields.
"It's at low levels and poses no risks or concerns to the community," Mr Phillips said.
"EPA (Environment Protection Authority) regulations are designed around preventing the movement of contaminated soil across Victoria and we're working through that at the moment."
Mr Phillips said the shire faced two options - either digging the contaminated soil up and using it elsewhere on site (such as in a spectator mound) or disposing it at a registered facility.
"If we have to move it, it will be expensive but if we can accommodate it on site it would be a lot cheaper," Mr Phillips said.
"We've made allowances (for the soil's removal) in the budget. It may cause some delay to the project."
Mr Phillips said the Donaldson Park Community Hub project was one of the biggest in the shire for a long time, combining facilities for football, netball, hockey and trotting.
"The local ward councillor has been working on this project for several years," he said.
Loddon Shire mayor Dan Straub said it was exciting to see the project progress to the next stage in its development.
"It's fantastic to see the awarding of the contract for the Donaldson Park Community Hub, which is another crucial step towards the completion of this facility," Cr Straub said.
"Donaldson Park is a key sport, recreation and community space for Wedderburn, and is home to the town's football, netball, hockey and harness racing clubs, so it's great to see progress on the new facility move ahead.
"The completion of the Donaldson Park Community Hub will also allow Wedderburn to host more community and regional events, further highlighting our shire and all its positive qualities."
The Donaldson Park Community Hub project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Commonwealth Government, Victorian Government, Donaldson Park Committee of Management, user groups, the community, Inglewood Districts Community Enterprises Limited and Council.
If works start on time in September, it is estimated stage one will be completed October 2023 subject to weather and supply of materials.
If you're reading this it's because you're a loyal subscriber to the Bendigo Advertiser. If you want to get more out of your subscription join the discussion on the Bendigo Advertiser's subscriber group on Facebook today.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.