Batemans Bay arts lobby group PerfEx says the new Mackay Park cultural centre should not replace the Batemans Bay Community Centre.
Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis on April 1 confirmed $25 million for the construction of a Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Precinct at the site.
This is in addition to $26 million of state government funding.
PerfEx has lobbied for many years for an arts and performance centre.
PerfEx president Dr Sue McKenzie said their mission was to have the complex constructed but not to "have the community suffer because of it".
Some residents fear the community centre in Museum Place will be sold or leased as an offset to the Mackay Park project.
Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes said there were no such immediate plans. However, Dr McKenzie said a petition to keep the centre was being circulated.
"To have that $51 million, but then to take away things from the community, to service that $51 million, does not seem to be a reasonable thing to do," she said.
She said the community centre was versatile with small and large meeting rooms, a hall which could be divided off, public toilets, a rentable office space and a paved BBQ area.
"This complements the Mackay Park Centre. This is where the nuts and bolts occur. This is where your ordinary meetings, your dance, your judo, your Tai Chi, your Sudoku, U3A classes all come," she said.
"It's pragmatic; it's not glamorous. But it's functional, it's used and really needed."
Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes said nothing would happen to the community centre before the community was consulted.
She said the council would look at options to keep costs down at the Mackay Park development.
She also said there were no current plans for selling or leasing the community centre.
"We've been upfront and open with that," she said. "We'll go forward and start talking to the community.
"Council's not going to be turfing valuable community groups, putting them on the streets with no options, organisations like Meals On Wheels.
"The option of throwing them out on the street is not even going to be considered."
However, Dr McKenzie said a number of the Mackay Park complex design aspects needed to be clarified.
"It needs to be clarified whether it will be affordable for locals, or not," she said.
"Discussions with Council are a bit fraught because they're not revealing a whole lot.
"We're hoping the next iteration, which is going to be the final plan, will have paid attention to what the community wants."
Dr McKenzie feared the rooms in the new complex might not be suitable for the needs of community groups.
"From Perfex's perspective, we want to continue the dialogue to try and have comprehensive community assets," she said.
"Ones that are complementary to each other, that suit the full community - not just a specific group of the community."
Mrs Sudmalis said the new project, funded under the Regional Growth Fund, was great news for the region.
"The successful project will see the construction and fit out of a 25 metre eight-lane pool with ramp access, therapy pool and spa, gym and group fitness area as well as a café, 500-seat auditorium and a gallery and exhibition space," she said.
"This represents a significant boost for Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla region and is a matched grant which was contributed by the NSW State Government through the advocacy of the Member for Bega, the Hon Andrew Constance."