Knock down-rebuild approved for former Bexley Bowling and Recreation Club
Murray Trembath St George and Sutherland Shire Leader 1 October 2018- 1:15PM
The clubhouse built by Bexley Bowling Club 66 years ago on a site known as Frog Hollow is set to be demolished.
It will be replaced by a new building to be constructed by the Order of the Australian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) NSW, which has been given a 21-year lease of the council-owned property.
Bayside Council gave conditional approval for the knock down-rebuild after AHEPA submitted a structural engineer’s report advising the original plan to extend and refurbish the old building was not viable.
AHEPA said the design concept remained the same, however the building footprint was marginally larger.
A previously approved multi-purpose community centre adjacent to the new main building would still be built, AHEPA said.
Bexley Bowling Club was established in 1948, with a clubhouse in Laycock Street, Bexley North constructed in 1952.
The site was known as Frog Hollow, as drainage from the surrounding area created a perfect frog environment.
Later known as Bexley Bowling and Recreation Club, it was unsuccessful when Rockdale Council called tenders for use of the site from community organisations in 2016.
AHEPA promotes Australian Hellenic culture, language and attributes and raises funds for charitable works and organisations.
The organisation said last year $7 million would be invested in the Bexley North project, which would be open to the general community as well as its 500 members.
The bowling green would be retained.
“We want the community to know it’s a public space and it will stay a community club,’’ grand secretary Panayiotis Diamadis said.
Bayside Council, in giving approval for the clubhouse replacement, stipulated a further report be submitted on costings and AHEPA’s financial capacity to deliver the proposed works.
AHEPA would also be required to lodge a development application within three months of the lease agreement being formalised.
AHEPA originally proposed to refurbish the bowling club premises and, as a second stage, build a new multi-purpose community centre.
A revised proposal was then put to the council that would include an extension to the existing building for offices, seminar rooms and a cultural museum.
This year, after the lease was approved by the state government, AHEPA submitted a structural engineer’s report stating the refurbishment and retention of the existing building was not viable.
AHEPA said, subject to approval, stage one was likely to be completed in mid-2020, and stage two in mid-2022.
The original clubhouse, which was completed in 1952. Picture: supplied
Additions and alterations completed in 1960. Picture: supplied
The existing Bexley Bowling and Recreation Club building. Picture: Isabella Lettini
New for old: Artist's impression of the replacement main building, which AHEPA says will look similar to the extension and refurbishment proposal. Picture: supplied
Stage two: The second part of the project is a multi-purpose community centre, which is expected to be completed in mid-2022. Picture: supplied