An exciting new era for E.S. Marks Athletics Field
The 115-year-old venue is being upgraded, to the tune of $4.8 million, to ensure it can continue to be an important community sporting precinct for the hundreds of thousands of athletes who use it every year. This is a heavily used venue with regular school carnivals, public open nights and large group attendance. These upgrades are a key deliverable of the Moore Park Masterplan 2040 (Moore Park 2040) and ensure the safety and longevity of this well-loved facility.
The project will involve partial demolition of the existing southern grandstand to resolve structural issues and improved driveway access at the Boronia St entrance, new dedicated bus pick up/drop off zones and an additional 14 car parking spaces. These improvements aim to ease congestion on Boronia Street while improving safety, access and parking at the site.
A new site office and storage facility will also be constructed. Whilst the works will retain significant trees including a prominent fig tree, 15 trees considered to be of low retention value will be removed and replaced with planting of 20 new trees as well as extensive planting and landscape works. An upgraded 400 metre synthetic track will be delivered along with upgraded high jump and long jump areas and improved track and field lighting.
Project: E.S. Marks Athletics Field upgrade
Location: Boronia Street and Anzac Parade Kensington
Project delivery: 10 January 2022 to end April 2022 (weather permitting)
Project owner: Greater Sydney Parklands
The new track will be World Athletics certified. The material will be made up of red coloured EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber granules cast into a polyurethane floor coat. E.S. Marks will be completely closed for the duration of the works with alternate facilities being provided at MacKay Oval.
The upgrade of the Athletics Field facilities is a key deliverable of the Moore Park Masterplan 2040 (Moore Park 2040), which was consulted on extensively between 2015 and 2016. Moore Park 2040 is a blueprint for Greater Sydney Parklands' direction and management of the Park over the next 25 years.
Artists impressions of the E.S. Marks upgrade when complete
Detail and timing of works
- 14-16 December 2021 – tree removal on the Boronia Street side of the facility.
- 10 January 2022 – construction site will be established, including the erection of fencing.
Hours of works
Permitted construction hours for the works are:
- 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday
- 8am to 1pm on Saturdays (although contractor will not be working every Saturday)
No work will be undertaken on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Tree removal and new plantings
Greater Sydney Parklands is committed to enhancing the natural environment of the E.S. Marks Athletics Field. All large, significant trees on the site will be retained and are incorporated in the new design. Additional trees and vegetation will be planted as part of a larger landscaping plan. All plantings will be on the perimeter of the track, to improve amenity and shading. The image below details the plantings near the main entrance on Boronia Street.
An independent arborist has assessed all the current trees and has recommended around 15 be removed due to their poor condition and low retention value. The trees were removed between 14 and 16 December 2021. Their removal has allowed for the whole site to be landscaped effectively with a combination of larger, mature trees, grasses and flowering plants. Below is a selection that will be planted with the new carpark on Boronia Street.
Traffic and Parking impacts
Parking on Boronia Street should be unaffected by the upgrade with all construction vehicles parking on site. Any illegal parking outside of the E.S. Marks site boundary will continue to be a matter for enforcement by Randwick City Council.
The upgrade will include new car parking provisions, as well as car and bus pick-up and drop-off zones at the facility. These improvements aim to ease congestion and improve parking at the site.
Alternate facilities while E.S. Marks is closed
Training facilities will be provided at McKay Oval while E.S. Marks is closed including:
- 400 metre lanes (1 metre wide)
- 100 metre straights – 16 lanes in total
The facilities at McKay Oval will be available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 3:30pm – sunset. The facilities will be for running only, with no throwing event training available. Please ensure you are aware of the gate closure times
in the Parklands with Paddington, Woollahra, Randwick and Robertson Road entry gates closing at 8pm.
Lighting of E.S. Marks Field
New lighting has already been installed to improve safe access and usage throughout the year. Athletic areas and sports fields are now covered, providing the opportunity for night time competition.
The new sports lighting has a LUX* and timer control system to save energy and reduce overall lighting levels, to minimise impacts on nearby residents. 100LUX will be switched on in the evenings for training purposes (this LUX is used for most recreational sports fields) and 200LUX will be used for competition matches. The latest training evenings and competitions go for is 9pm.
A lighting design and impact assessment has been conducted by a reputable, market-leading, Australian lighting company. The new venue lighting complies with all current Australian Standards.
* Lumens is a measure of light leaving a light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the lamp will appear. Lux refers to light that hits a surface. 1 lux is equal to 1 lumen per square metre.