The newly-redeveloped Jack Dyer pavilion in Citizen's Park, Richmond, was officially opened on Saturday, as debate continues over the fate of the Dyer stand at Punt Rd.
The redevelopment, which was designed with significant input from local clubs and community groups, has created a new second-floor lift-accessible community space with kitchen and audio-visual equipment, as well as new change rooms, first aid facilities and a downstairs kitchen and servery upgrade.
The new-look pavilion's green credentials include rooftop solar panels, water harvesting for toilets, water-saving fittings on taps and showers and more bike racks.
Local member and Planning Minister Richard Wynne cut the ribbon on the revamped building, which was funded by $2 million from the Victorian government's Local Sports Grant Initiative in 2019 and $1 million from the City of Yarra's 2019-20 budget.
The Heritage Committee of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria has written to Wynne asking him to protect the Jack Dyer grandstand following the decision by Melbourne City Council to approve its demolition as part of a $65 million redevelopment of Punt Rd Oval.
A Victorian government spokesperson said the matter was under consideration and would be decided on its merit
Yarra City Mayor Sophie Wade and councillors Herschel Landes, Edward Crossland, Claudia Nguyen, Gabrielle de Vietri also attended the opening.
"The upgraded Jack Dyer Pavilion in Richmond will provide much-needed facilities for local sporting clubs as well as the broader community," Wade said.
"An increase in change rooms will help sporting clubs grow their membership, and gender-inclusive change rooms for players and umpires will support increased participation in sport."
The upgraded Jack Dyer pavilion will provide much-needed facilities for local sporting clubs as well as the broader community- Mayor Sophie Wade
Cr Landes said girls playing sport at the grounds had previously been subject to "atrocious" conditions.
It had been "a long, long road" to the redevelopment, and he was grateful to the local member for his support with the project.
Wynne, who will relinquish his seat this year, was accompanied by Lauren O'Dwyer, Labor's candidate for the seat at the state election in November.
The opening was celebrated by large numbers of black and yellow-clad Richmond Junior Football Club members, who together with the Richmond Union Cricket Club and Richmond Harriers, call the grounds home.