Ashfield Aquatic Centre project

Inner West Council is undertaking a much needed major redevelopment of the Ashfield Aquatic Centre.

The new facility is due to open in August 2020.

Project updates

  • The water test to the concrete structure of 50 metre pool completed.
  • The roof sheeting installation of the new building close to completion.
  • The lift core concrete works completed.
  • The concrete floor of the new leisure pool completed.
  • The façade installation works commenced.
  • The building services rough-ins began.
  • Truck movement and traffic impact from the material delivery.
  • Noise from concrete pump, steel lifting and steel structure assembly.

Project progress September 2019 to April 2020 


Timelapse project progress by month

Watch our time-lapse videos of the Ashfield Aquatic Centre works.

May 2020

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April 2020

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March 2020

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February 2020

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January 2020

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November 2019

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October 2019

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September 2019

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August 2019

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July 2019

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Redevelopment plan

The final plan for centre will feature:

  • New 50 metre outdoor pool with accessible ramp and pool divider
  • New outdoor program pool with a movable floor that can change its depth up to 2.1 metres, opening it up for a wide range of uses
  • New children’s leisure pool with landscaping and green wall
  • New entry building with gym, cafe, change areas, crèche and retail space
  • New sauna, steam and spa attached to the existing pool hall building
  • New community meeting rooms
  • Green space, covered seating, landscaped areas and terraces
  • More parking


After 55 years in operation and over 11.5 million visitors passing through its gates, the much loved facility closed its doors early in 2018.

The pool was closed in order to undertake the necessary investigations and preparatory work required as part of the redevelopment. Ongoing occupational health and safety issues as a result of ageing infrastructure including broken tiles, sewerage blockages, lack of ventilation in the indoor pool area and plant room and structural issues also meant that the ageing facility was no longer safe to use.

Since the pool closed, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken to prepare the site for redevelopment. The pools have been emptied to allow for additional geotechnical and other investigative work which couldn't be undertaken whilst the facility operated and was a crucial part of the tender process.

In November 2018 Council appointed a tenderer for the construction of the new aquatic centre.

Read the meeting minutes about the Ashfield Aquatic Centre redevelopment.

The community was asked to help create a vision for the redevelopment, engaging centre users, clubs and the wider community during May and June 2017. These outcomes informed the redevelopment design.

View the project page on Council's online engagement hub, Your Say Inner West.

Friday 20 December 2019: Use of water at Ashfield Aquatic Centre redevelopment

Inner West Council is undertaking a much needed major redevelopment of the Ashfield Aquatic Centre.

Part of the construction process requires the pool structures to be water tested. Once the structure test has been completed, the pool needs to be emptied again to allow for the finishing of the pool surface, including tiles. While it is unfortunate, when constructing a new pool, there is a need to test the pools..

Council engaged a contractor to truck some of the water to Leichhardt Oval's 140,000 litre tank to allow irrigation of the sporting ground. Unfortunately, not all of the water could be recycled due to a lack of storage tanks. Staff reached out to a number of other councils and organisations to offer the water the water to them for recycling.

Council's contractor had an exemption from Sydney Water to allow for filling of the swimming pools for testing purposes. Sydney Water were mistakenly not advised in advance of the need to empty water from the pools. The permit for this work was subsequently granted by Sydney Water later on the same day.

Why has the cost of the pool increased?

The cost has increased for a number of reasons:

Additions to the original concept.

The initial plans put forward did not include a movable floor for the new outdoor pool. This allows for change in depth, opening up the pool for a wide range of uses including water polo, events and other programs or a new health and fitness centre.

The new facility will now meet a diverse range of community needs. The health and fitness centre in particular, with a full range of fitness facilities and programs will provide health benefits for the community from school aged right through to older adults.

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

Additional investigations and change of scope

These had to take place to further understand the identified risks including any latent conditions such as hazardous materials, geotechnical depth of piling and other geotechnical issues.

Unidentified issues

These were and could only be identified after the pool was emptied and additional investigative work was undertaken. This was a crucial part of the tender process.

The overall plan is a future-proof of the centre for future generations to come, rather than a short-term strategy to patch up the dilapidated centre which was at the end of its lifespan.

How does Council plan to pay for the development?

The cost to build the facility is to be funded by the Special Rate Variation adopted by Ashfield Council in 2015. Council has applied for a 20 year loan with TCorp to cover the remainder of the funds.

No further rate increases are being considered to cover the cost of the project.

The final budget for the pool includes $1in savings that will be negotiated with the builder by Council officers.

How does the cost compare to other similar projects?

The $44.7 million cost to build the facility is in line with similar projects undertaken in Australia in recent years such as:

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

Development application documents

Development application documents for the Ashfield Aquatic Centre project can be accessed through the NSW Government Development and Planning Register:

NSW Government Development and Planning Register: Ashfield Aquatic Centre

Project contacts

FDC Project Manager

Peter Blood
0405 732 621

FDC Site Manager

Michael McAndrew
0438 205 654

Inner West Council Project Manager

Vicki Haddock 
IWC Project Manager

+61 2 9392 5558
0417 883 575

Artist impressions

Artist's impression of an aerial view of the completed Ashfield Aquatic Centre

Artist's impression of the entry and foyer of the completed Ashfield Aquatic Centre


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Page last updated: 07 Jul 2020