Sporties DubboSporties Dubbo

Client: Railway Bowling Club, Dubbo

Project: Renovation of Sporties

Description: Renovation of Sporties, including a new foyer area and reconfigured layout, including bar, gaming room and restaurant

Barnson’s Role: Design and project management, including architectural, engineering, town planning, tendering, contract preparation and administration

Time frame: Eight-month project, completed during 2012

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 reduce the 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.

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 Barnson had to 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 renovation resulted in a bright, contemporary look that matched the club’s new name of Sporties Dubbo. 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.

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 also 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.

Barnson was also recognised for the work with a win in the Commercial Alterations and Additions category of the 2013 Design Awards, presented by the NSW branch of the Building Designers Association of Australia.