Cardinia Shire mayor Jack Kowarzik, Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club president Tim Katz, Westernport Ward councillor Kaye Cameron and Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale turn the sod at the Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club and Community Pavilion project.

After eight years in the making, the Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club has been able to finally turn the sod to its Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club and community pavilion project.

As part of the project, the Victorian-based bowling club’s existing pavilion is being replaced with a new facility that will feature two new social rooms, three community meeting rooms, and a kitchen and bar. There will also be two change room areas, toilet facilities, storage area, and a first-aid room. The club’s original pavilion was built in the late 1960s.

The pavilion is used regularly by Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club and the Southwest Gippsland Midweek Bowls Group, as well as on occasion by Koo Wee Rup Lions Club and other community and private groups.

Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club president Tim Katz said that with the project finally underway, it means there’s “a lot less stress in my day-to-day life”.

He explained that the project was delayed due to a combination of factors: Covid, a changeover in hand of project lead within council, and “a lot of toing and froing to getting the finished product” the way the club wanted.

“We got about 95 per cent close to what we wanted,” Katz acknowledged.

The project is being jointly funded by the federal, state, and local governments.

Cardinia Shire mayor Jack Kowarzik said the new community pavilion would provide users with better access to shared community spaces.

“Once complete, the new facility will better support the Koo Wee Rup Bowling Club as well as other local sporting clubs, schools and community groups in hosting competitions, meetings, social functions, and community events,” he said.

With construction now underway, the project is slated to be completed October. 

When completed, Katz has his eyes set on getting approval for another project that will see a dome-shaped roof be built above the bowling greens that will feature a digital LED screen. He sees it as an opportunity to host movie nights, for example, to attract not only the local Koo Wee Rup community, but also those from neighbouring local municipality.

“I’m very big on getting more younger members in,” he said.

“When I first started three years ago, the average age of our members was 80, so what I want to do is for the club to engage with younger people in the community. Our youngest member is now nine years old, and we’re starting to see the demographic of people in their twenties and thirties come through.”   

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