Colac Otway Shire Council has approved plans to buy part of the former Colac High School, but it could take years to develop the land.
The council voted this week to take over 6.5 hectares of vacant land on the former school site for a discounted price of $280,000, and to negotiate with the State Government in an attempt to acquire another hectare of the land.
The council will use the land for public open space or recreation, with soccer and baseball among the possible uses.
Cr Jason Schram said it could take years for the council to plan facilities for the site and secure funding to build them, but reserving the land was the first step in the process.
“If years ago we hadn’t reserved swampy land for future use, we wouldn’t have our beautiful botanic gardens,” Cr Schram said.
A council report speculates the site would be big enough for two soccer pitches, a baseball diamond, off-field facilities, parking and play areas. Public consultation would happen before the council decided how to use the land.
The report says the council could pay for developments through grants from other levels of government, its own future budgets, and from contributions from developers of future housing subdivisions nearby.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.