Big changes to sports ground

By Casey Neill
KNOX councillors have given the green light to a $5 million Gilbert Park overhaul.
They endorsed a long-term master plan for the Knoxfield ground at their 10 February strategic planning committee meeting.
Councillors will now consider allocating cash for the upgrade in their long-term financial strategy.
The council will also seek State and Federal government funding.
The upgrade will include a new pavilion and playground, baseball and softball diamond improvements, better toilet facilities, traffic flow and pedestrian access and landscaping.
Friberg Ward councillor Andrew Walter said current facilities were more than 30 years old and no longer supported demand on the park.
“It’s time Gilbert Park was brought into the 21st Century and upgraded to reflect its status as an essential facility for baseball and softball in Melbourne’s east,” he said.
The ground is home to Knox and District Softball Association and Knox Baseball Club.
Schools also use the ground for softball and baseball competitions.
“The plan includes extensive input from the clubs that use the facility the most, and it’s fantastic we’ve been able to incorporate their ideas into the final plan,” Cr Walter said.
The council’s ‘recreation plan 2004-13’ identified the need to upgrade the Ferntree Gully Road park.
The council prepared the master plan with $20,000 from the State Government.