Ashfield Aquatic Centre upgrade set to forge ahead

Thursday, 15 November 2018


Inner West Council has appointed a tenderer for the construction of a state-of -the-art Aquatic Centre in Ashfield.

Hundreds of local families filled the Council chamber to demonstrate support for the the centre, which, has been designed to accommodate a range of aquatics, fitness and recreational needs.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that the pool was the most significant infrastructure project, in both size and scope, in the history of the inner west.

"Council was determined to get this once in a lifetime opportunity right - to transform Ashfield Pool into a first class facility for the whole community to enjoy for generations to come,” he said.

“With the contract having now been awarded for this long awaited project, we are implementing higher standards of project management, quality assurance and cost control than ever before, as a project of this importance demands.

"Extensive consultation with the community showed an overwhelming 75% support for a contemporary mix of recreational facilities to be built at the site.

“The fact that hundreds of local people jammed into the Council meeting to express their support for the project reinforces that this is a necessary public facility that will be used by huge numbers of people when it opens.

"While the additions to the original concept have now obviously added to the construction costs - it means that the new facility will meet a diverse range of community needs.

“It was important Council listened to the community and future-proofed the complex rather than funnelling funds into a short-term strategy to patch up the dilapidated centre, which was literally at the end of its lifespan.

"The new centre will boast a 1000 square meter gym, spa, steam and sauna facilities and a world class ‘floating floor’ for the outdoor pool will mean that the water level can be adjusted, making it the perfect venue for everything from water polo to Learn to Swim and Aqua Aerobics lessons.”

Comments from Ashfield residents who attended the meeting:

Alfie Jellett, 13, Member of Ashfield Amateur Swim Club and student at Ashfield Boys High School:

“I’m really happy that children in Ashfield and Croydon will have the opportunity to swim at the upgraded Ashfield pool for swimming lessons, school swimming carnivals and hanging out with friends.”

David Collins-White, President, Ashfield Amateur Swimming Club:

“The decision made on Tuesday November 13 by the Inner West Council to approve the redevelopment of the much loved Ashfield Pool was received with great joy and relief by the record large crowd in attendance.

“As President of the Ashfield Amateur Swimming Club, a club whose history is linked with the pool over the last 50 years, I know the members will be swimming their hearts out over the next two years at Cabarita pool in anticipation of returning to the new Ashfield pool in 2020.

“On behalf of both the club and Haberfield Public School who I was also representing, we wish to thank all the councillors who voted for the development to proceed, especially councillors Mark Drury and Lucille McKenna. The legacy of the vote will be a dividend for the whole Inner West community for next 50 years.”

The final plan for the redevelopment of the Ashfield Aquatic Centre includes:

  • A new 50m indoor pool with accessible ramp and split boom
  • A new outdoor pool with floating floor that can change its depth, opening it up for a wide range of uses
  • A new children’s leisure pool with landscaping and green wall
  • A new two storey entry building with cafe, change areas, crèche, staff facilities and retail space
  • A new 1000sqm gym on Level 2 of the entry building
  • New sauna, steam and spa attached to the existing pool hall building
  • A community green space and covered seating
  • Landscaping areas and terraces for the external pools
  • Increased parking spaces

The $44.7 million cost to build the facility, to be funded by the Special Rate Variation, already adopted by the former Ashfield Council in 2015, is in line with similar projects undertaken in Australia in recent years such as:

  • The Aquanation constructed in Ringwood (2015) $45m
  • Aquapulse in the City of Wynham (2015) $50m
  • PARC Peninsula Aquatic Centre in Frankston (2014) $49.6m
  • GESAC in East Bentleigh (2012) $45m
  • Watermarc in Greensborough (2012) $46m.

The final budget includes $1,500,000 in savings that will be negotiated with the builder by Council officers. Council has applied for a 20 year loan with TCorp to allow repayments to be better managed.

For further information, please contact Kate Walsh on 9392 5685 or or go to the Ashfield Aquatic Centre redevelopment page.                           

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Page last updated: 15 Nov 2018