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E.S. Marks Athletics Field upgrades

An exciting new era for E.S. Marks Athletics Field

Preliminary works have started on a $4.8 million upgrade of E.S. Marks Athletics Field, rejuvenating Australia’s largest community sporting precinct for future generations.

The upgrade will include the improvement of athletics and spectator facilities, dedicated coach pick-up and drop off zones, parking and lighting upgrades, and the planting of shade trees and new vegetation. This important upgrade will ensure E.S. Marks Athletics Field continues to be a safe, accessible and suitable community recreation facility.

The facility was expected to close in September 2021 for the major works to start but due to COVID this has been delayed. The new closure date will now be 16 December 2021. We are excited to be able to offer a unique opportunity for avid runners out there to use the track for free until then. 

Free Open Night Training sessions until 16 December 2021 

If you are an avid runner keen to take a spin on a real track, post lockdown, then head to ES Marks. The track will be open from Monday to Thursdays from 3.30pm to 9pm for free for runners from Monday 18 October - Thursday 16 December 2021.

We ask all runners to check in using the QR code and practice social distancing under the current NSW Health Orders.

Frequently asked questions
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 Parkland’s direction and management of the Park over the next 25 years. We are excited to deliver these planned and important improvements to the well-loved E.S. Marks Athletics Field.

To find out more about Moore Park 2040, visit https://www.centennialparklands.com.au/about-us/planning/moore-park-master-plan-2040.
The upgrade will involve partial demolition of the existing southern grandstand, improved track and field lighting and the replacement of the current athletic track surface including long jump and high jump areas. New shade trees and vegetation will also be planted.

New, dedicated coach pick up and drop off zones will also be built at the facility to accommodate sports carnivals, and existing parking will be upgraded. These improvements aim to ease congestion on Boronia Street while improving safety, access and parking at the site. All enhancements will comply with Australian Standards.
The site will be closed from late November to March 2022. During this time, major works will be carried out, including the partial demolition of the existing grandstand, and the replacement of current athletic surface. The nature of these works mean that the facility cannot be used during this period of construction. It is expected the upgraded facility will reopen in April 2022, subject to wet weather.
April to August is the busiest period for the E.S Marks Athletics Field. We have scheduled the works to take place during the quieter summer months, and have ensured the entire school athletics season can be completed prior to closure of the venue. NSW Government funding which has been provided for these works has also limited timescales which these upgrades must be completed in.
Training facilities will be provided at McKay Oval while ES 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.

All passes that are active when the site closes for works will be extended for 12 months.
Centennial Parklands is working to minimise construction impacts on nearby residents as much as possible. General demolition and construction works will take place within standard construction hours, and a Traffic Management Plan will be put in place for the safety and convenience of neighbours and workers. Construction workers will also be provided with on-site parking to ensure parking will not be affected on nearby streets.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our project team on (02) 9339 6699.
General demolition and construction works will take place within standard construction hours.

These hours are 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday. In the unlikely event that scheduled works need to occur out-of-hours, we will provide neighbours with a minimum of 5 days’ notice.
New lighting will be incorporated into the venue to improve safe access and usage throughout the year. Athletic areas and sports fields will be covered within the lighting design, providing the opportunity for night time competition.

The design includes a range of measures to reduce the impact of this new lighting on nearby residents, including angled and directional lighting.

A lighting design and impact assessment has been conducted by a reputable, market-leading, Australian lighting company. The new venue lighting will comply with all current Australian Standards.
The new sports lighting will have a LUX* and timer control system to save energy and reduce overall lighting levels, which will minimise any impacts upon neighbours. 100LUX will be switched in the evenings for training purposes (this LUX is used for most recreational sports fields) and 200LUX will be used for competition matches.

* 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.
Centennial Parklands is committed to maintaining the green environment of the E.S Marks Athletics Field. All large, significant trees have been incorporated in the new design, and additional trees and vegetation will be planted as part of a larger landscaping plan.

Four small trees will need to be removed as part of the works. These trees have been assessed by an arborist and have been determined to be low retention value as they are in poor condition and do not complement the existing environment.
Centennial Parklands is proud of the heritage of the E.S. Marks Athletics Field, and this heritage will continue to be celebrated in the upgrade of the site.

A heritage impact statement has been undertaken, and measures will be put in place to preserve heritage structures at the site. Approval of the main works has also been sought from the Heritage Council of NSW.
Both pedestrians and cyclists have been considered and accommodated in the project design. Pedestrians will be separated from vehicular traffic, and will be directed to use the main entry footpath which connects to the new entry way off Boronia Street to the new site office for the athletics track.

In the interest of pedestrian safety, and to ensure a slow speed environment, signage recommending cyclists dismount upon entry to the site will also be implemented at the Boronia Street entry point. Dedicated cycle racks will also be installed adjacent to the track.
No, parking meters will not be installed as part of the upgrade works. Parking will remain free for venue users.
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.

Any illegal car parking outside of the E.S. Marks site boundary will continue to be a matter for Local Council enforcement. 
The new track will be IAAF certified under World Athletics Class 2 Certification. The material will be made up of red coloured EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber granules cast into a polyurethane floor coat.
All fees & charges to use E.S. Marks Athletics Field will be frozen throughout Financial Year 2022
No. All athletics facilities will be retained and enhanced.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our project team on (02) 9339 6699.