When Dubbo’s Railway Bowling Club first approached Barnson, their brief was to help them meet the future needs of the club and its members. The club knew it needed to create a more welcoming atmosphere and reconfigure the layout that had become like a rabbit warren as a result of various renovations in the club’s 59-year history.

The eight-month project was completed during 2012 at a cost of $1.35 million, with the added challenge of completing most of the work in the early hours of the morning so the club could remain operational and cause a minimum of disruption to members and visitors. There is now a new indoor and outdoor poker machine room, offices, a new foyer and new function rooms.

Barnson’s Dubbo team project managed the renovations and was responsible for the comprehensive design work, including architectural, engineering, town planning, tendering and contract preparation. Barnson also acted as Superintendent and administered the contract so that the club’s management could continue to focus on managing the club.

Barnson’s Kirk Gleeson is completely satisfied with the end result. “At the end of the project, we were proud to have delivered a bright, contemporary look that matches the club’s new name of Sporties Dubbo,” he said.

“Having undergone previous planning and renovations throughout the club’s 59-year history, the building had become a rabbit warren of small and unusable spaces. Coupled with the dated finishes, this created an atmosphere that was less than welcoming to prospective visitors and hampered the day-to-day running of the club.

“Cost was a key consideration, so we had to make sense of the layout and use the existing structure to reconfigure the front of the building and incorporate a new modern foyer, offices, function and gaming areas, while bringing rest of the building up to date with current trends and building regulations.”

The modern foyer and entrance have become the focal point of the building and the spaces within the club are more functional. The new reception counter, which wraps around a central cloak room and into the restaurant, provides the club with a “wow” factor that impresses visitors and cements its position as a leading local venue.

Kirk said that keeping the club operational during construction to ease the financial burden of the project was the biggest challenge, with most of the work completed between 6am and 10am. “Staging plans showed how the contractor should build full height hoardings which would still allow the poker machine room and restaurant to operate, while also  giving the contractor room to complete stage one and to use most of the same hoarding for Stage 2.”

“The executive recognised that they could not meet the future needs of the club and its members if they kept the old exterior facade, entrance and layout.