The Maitland Park Masterplan has moved to the next level with the opening this week of a $58,000 outdoor gym.
Maitland councillor and Maitland Park Recreation Board chairperson Ben Whiting, said the ongoing improvements to the park are a credit to Maitland City Council.
The gym is part of a $12million park improvement program which will also include a new $7million (additional to the $12million) indoor aquatic centre, amenities block and canteen linked to Maitland pool and new home for Maitland Netball Association.
“The plan is certainly turning the park into a city showpiece,” Cr Whiting said. “It has become the jewel in Maitland’s crown.”
He said the gym is located on the Park Street or Louth Park side of the park and is part of the two kilometre shared path that borders Maitland Park.
“It’s great to see this progressing each step of the way. It’s certainly a giant leap forward,” Cr Whiting said.
Construction of a $7 million indoor aquatic centre, 654 new car parking spaces and a multi-purpose amenities building for sports teams have been planned for the park. A netball amenities building, upgrades to hockey and croquet facilities, extra picnic areas and the outdoor gym or fitness stations were also flagged.
The plan is certainly turning the park into a city showpiece. It has become the jewel in Maitland’s crown.Cr Ben Whiting.
The association’s $1.3 million amenities block is a single level facility which includes a new canteen, change rooms, administration areas, umpires’ area, first aid room, storage facilities and covered awning areas.
When the masterplan was first proposed in 2014 Cr Whiting said is was an important document for the park’s future.
“Maitland Park is one of the rare facilities that crosses demographics,” he said. “It’s a grand, but realistic, vision of where the park is headed,” he said at the time.
Cr Whiting said Maitland Park is a place close to his heart. A long time Maitland resident, Cr Whiting has played touch football and cricket there and continues to play hockey on site.
“I’m sure it’s a place many Maitland people love to visit as it would have been part of their lives for a long time.”
Cr Whiting said more people have been flocking to Maitland Park since the shared path opened and said the new outdoor gym should draw more residents to the area.
“In council’s latest community survey we asked people to identify what they considered to be a special place in Maitland for them and Maitland park was number one,” Cr Whiting said.
He added that council has purchased a number of houses along the park’s fringe.