CONTRACTORS have demolished the Polwarth Pavilion, making way for a new two-storey sporting and community pavilion.
The 52-year old building was demolished last Monday, kicking off stage one of the City of Greater Geelong’s West Oval redevelopment, two months ahead of schedule.
Brownbill Ward councillor Peter Murrihy said it was a bittersweet moment given the importance the pavilion has in West Oval’s history.
“The pavilion has become a home to sportspeople, supporters, volunteers, and spectators for over 50 years,” Cr Murrihy said.
“Many have celebrated victories, hit milestones and learned from losses within these walls.
“It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to this West Oval icon, but it’s exciting to see what the future will look like with the masterplan well underway.”
The pavilion was named in honour of property steward and club life member Bill Polwarth. Mr Polwarth passed away in April 2020, aged 86.
Mr Polwarth’s son, Terry, said the pavilion was a large part of his family’s history.
“Dad was here for 35 years after he retired as a player. He was the property manager, grounds manager, and everything in between. People would try and do his jobs if he was unable to, nobody could do it like him,” Terry said.
“The pavilion is an exciting place to be, especially for our father.
“There’s a lot of history that we will never forget, it’s been fantastic for the Polwarth family.”
Built in 1968, the pavilion was home to the Geelong West Football Club, before its merger with St Peters in the 1980s.
Using a $25,000 City of Greater Geelong grant at the time, the build was also assisted through donated goods and trades, with volunteers and club members assisting with the construction and painting of the pavilion and its stands.
The $11 million stage one upgrade of the sports precinct is jointly funded by the Victorian government, $7.4million, and COGG, $3.6M.
Geelong MP Christine Couzens said the Victorian government was proud to build a new home for sport at West Oval.
“The Polwarth Pavilion meant a lot to those who have spent time at West Oval,” Ms Couzens said.
“The new pavilion will mean just as much as a new focal point for club members and the community.”