Location :

Pakenham, VIC

Client :

Cardinia Shire Council

Year :


Sector :

Acrylic | Natural turf | Synthetic turf | AFL | Basketball | Crickets | Multi-use sports

SPORTENG worked closely with the Cardinia Shire Council to develop a new sports facility consisting of two natural turf AFL/cricket ovals, two netball courts, a pavilion, multi-use sporting enclosure, multi-generational active space, carparking and general landscaping.


The Cardinia Shire Council was looking at a way to enhance its growing community's health and wellbeing. After numerous consultations the decision was made to turn a greenfield site in Pakenham (which is part of the Cardinia Shire Council) into a new district-level sport and recreation facility. This new reserve will provide a wealth of community health benefits, as well as new social opportunities.


The council contacted SPORTENG and together, we have worked with the local community and user groups, the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (DELWP), and Sport and Recreation Victoria to ensure the facilities answer the needs of the council’s community.


A project such as this presents its own unique challenges. These come in the form of:

  • Communication - ensuring effective communication is maintained between all the stakeholders
  • Scope Creep - deliverables at the tender stage match the initial brief from the client
  • Project budget - meeting the clients budget expectations.


Communication between stakeholders is the most important aspect of any project. SPORTENG engaged in regular presentation and feedback sessions with Cardinia Council and our subconsultants during the design phase to ensure we were delivering on the client’s expectations.


Scope creep was another challenge and refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope. Scope creep occurs in many ways – client requests to include extra elements, unexpected items needing to be included due to latent site conditions, changes to sporting body regulations during the design process… the list goes on. Scope creep inevitably leads to an increase in project construction costs and needs to be closely monitored. In this case, SPORTENG managed scope creep by regularly reviewing client requests against the original project brief and using Scope Change Notices (SCN).


But the biggest challenges of all was budget. The initial costings of any masterplan are based upon very board assumptions. As the design is progressed, new items arise that were unforeseen in the initial costing. In this case, one of the major milestones is to “get it out of the ground’. This refers to completing the subgrade works and having a solid base on which to construct the irrigation, drainage and rootzone. It means no longer needing to worry about unforeseen subgrade problems and potential extra costs.


In general, SPORTENG always recommends that a contingency amount be maintained in our opinion of probable cost. If construction of a project commences without a contingency allocation, then the client is exposed to considerable risk. There is often a temptation to use the contingency on extra design elements, but this should be considered carefully, and the possible implications outlined to the client.


To deliver the overall design package, the Cardinia Shire Council designated SPORTENG as principal design consultant, along with a team of sub-consultants selected by SPORTENG.


The design process of James Bathe Reserve was able to produce a result that incorporated all the design elements into a package that was constructed to a high standard. There were some construction concerns that resulted in needing to access the project contingency. The main issue was that the latent soil conditions were silty and could not be effectively compacted. This resulted in the need to remove excess soil from the site and import suitable material.


Throughout the design and Construction Phase Consulting Services, communication between all stakeholders was vital to the successful completion of the project. Regular design meetings were undertaken and feedback from the meetings implemented.



When this project started, the Cardinia Shire Mayor Councillor Jeff Springfield said “Council is excited to provide our community with such a wonderful reserve, which encourages social connectedness by offering spaces for our residents to gather and participate in activities and programs".


MP Jordan Crugnale said “It’ll be a brilliant gathering place for not just sporting activities but also community events, programs and meeting places. With the John Henry Primary School already there and the new secondary college being built, it’s more space for activities and compliments the IYU Reserve down the road”.


We're proud to have been associated with the design and construction phases services of such a great sport facility. We can't wait to see the ovals being played this summer!


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