Ken delighted by stadium roof decision

It was one cancellation too many for Ken Garcia when rain fell on the evening of November 23, 2013.

Sitting at home after yet another game of indoor basketball was "washed out", Mr Garcia took to Facebook to set up a page titled Fix Shellharbour Stadium's Leaking Roof.

Within days the page had more than 600 "likes".

The indoor stadium, built in 2000, had been closed 55 days in the previous two years due to wet weather.

The Facebook campaign featured pictures of basketballers in life-jackets, officials with umbrellas and even suggestions of new sports that could be played in the stadium - such as paddle-ball.

Four months later the stadium's user groups have reason to celebrate after Shellharbour city councillors voted to spend $1.435 million on a new roof.

Yesterday Mr Garcia went to the stadium armed with a sledge-hammer ready to give the council a hand to get things under way.

"I've been playing and coaching here for nine years and it has been frustrating," Mr Garcia said.

"Even if it was just drizzling you would never know it would be on or not because any water could make the courts slippery.

"The good news is the message got through and we have a solution moving forward; I'm not concerned about what happened before."

Shellharbour council delayed making a decision on the roof in December after Roads and Maritime Services indicated there could be a possible modification to the Albion Park Rail bypass route that would see a new highway take out the stadium.

"The State Government said it would replace the facility if that was to happen and if does it is probably 10 years away," Mr Garcia said.

"I think it is a good outcome."

The council plans to start construction in June with the new roof in place by September and is investigating options for user groups during the construction period.

Ken Garcia, with Aaron, Liam, Conner and Callum at the Shellharbour City Stadium. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Ken Garcia, with Aaron, Liam, Conner and Callum at the Shellharbour City Stadium. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER


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