Inverell Aquatic Centre Redevelopment
Updated 2 June 2023
INVERELL AQUATIC CENTRE REPLACEMENT – UPDATE
After signing contracts on the 15 March 2023 for the design and construction of the Inverell Aquatic Centre Replacement, Council and its Specialist Advisory Team has been working closely with contractors Hines Constructions P/L to develop the detailed design for the new Facility.
The detailed design has taken the approved concept plans and the Functional and Technical Design Brief prepared during project development to the next stage in readiness for construction works to commence.
Plans, including an audio-visual fly through, are available for viewing and downloading below.
After consideration of the feedback that has been provided at the 50% detailed design stage, Council will again go back to the community at the 75% detailed design stage.
Demolition of the existing facility and associated preliminary earthworks are underway.
A subsequent development application will be lodged in the coming weeks for the construction of the new facility and will be determined by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Further background and project development information is available below.
Information can also be obtained by contacting Council’s Civil and Environmental Services Division on Phone (02) 6728 8202.
Audio/Visual Fly Through Video
How Can I Have My Say?
The opportunity exists at any stage throughout the process to simply complete the online submission form below and provide your feedback. All those providing feedback will receive a response from Council.
Anyone seeking additional information can contact Council’s Civil and Environmental Services Department on (02) 67288 202 or feel free to call into the Council Administration Centre and discuss further.
Inverell Shire Council has entered into a contract with Hines Constructions P/L for the design and construction of the Inverell Aquatic Centre Replacement.
The $24.98M project will get underway in May of this year commencing with the demolition of the existing facility.
Council have been undertaking detailed project development since 2020 which has included extensive community consultation. An initial Feasibility Study was followed by the preparation of a Functional and Technical Design Brief which will inform the detailed design process.
The new facility will include a main 8-lane 50 metre outdoor/indoor pool, a 20 metre by 10 metre warm water pool with moveable floor to maximise the range of uses and an indoor splash park with an associated toddlers pool. State of the art access will ensure ease of use for all ranges of mobility.
The Builder, Hines Constructions are very experienced in the recreational facility construction sector, including the development of numerous aquatic centres in regional NSW.
Your Questions Answered
When will the Inverell Memorial Pool Close?
The Swimming Pool closed on 30 April 2023 to allow for the redevelopment.
How long will the Swimming Pool be closed for?
It is anticipated the swimming pool will be closed for approximately 18 months with construction work scheduled to be completed in October 2024.
Council acknowledges this will cause disappointment and disruption to some members of the community. The closure is being undertaken in the context of providing a modern aquatic centre that will serve the community for the next 60 years and beyond.
Irrespective of the redevelopment, it would have been necessary to close the pool for a prolonged period this winter and spring to facilitate major repairs and maintenance works. By having a redevelopment plan ready to go and funded it minimises the overall length of time a swimming pool is unavailable to the public.
Why is the Aquatic Centre being replaced?
Detailed condition assessments dating back to 2007 have indicated that major elements of the pool have reached or exceeded their design life.
Council has been faced with increasing challenges to try and keep the facility functioning including significant leaking, failed pipework and fittings, filtration and water reticulation that does not meet modern day standards, failed heating units and elements such as the dividing swim wall that are no longer functional.
The above challenges have seen an exponential increase in operational costs of the facility. Between 2015/16 to 2019/20 there was an approximate 140% increase in the operating cost of the facility.
Feasibility assessment suggested the best long-term option for Council and the community was to replace the existing Aquatic Centre as opposed to repair and refurbishment.
How much will the construction of the new facility cost and how is it to be funded?
Council has entered into a design and construct contract with a maximum ceiling fixed lump sum cost of $24,978,789. Council will be the beneficiary of any savings that come from the detailed design process or the construction.
To date Council has secured grants which total $6,775,000 to part fund the project. The largest contributor to the grant funds includes $5M under the state government Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund. Council will continue to seek grant funding, particularly from the federal government during the detailed design phase of the project.
Consistent with their asset management philosophy and part of the long-term planning for the aquatic centre replacement, has seen Council accumulate over $8,380,000 in dedicated reserve funds that will part fund the project.
Recognising the long-term nature of the project and the principles of intergenerational equity, Council also propose to borrow up to $10M to fund the project.
None of the capital cost, future operating costs or loan repayments will impact on Council’s other core works and services programs and associated capital expenditure.
What will the new facility look like?
The new Inverell Aquatic Centre is designed to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for aquatics and health and wellness to serve the needs of the Inverell Shire community as well as the surrounding region and visitors to the area.
The scope of the project will include:
- An 8 lane 50m x 20m FINA compliant outdoor/indoor pool. The pool will have a roof over the shallow end and a pop up swim wall with a large door to close the opening above. These ‘winterisation’ features will allow for an indoor heated 25 metre pool that meets the specifications for short course racing during the cooler months. The pool will include an access ramp.
- Integrated 20m x 10m warm water indoor program pool with a spiral lift movable floor (fully moveable to the same depth as well as articulating floor with three integrated depth zones meeting all pool access safety transition requirements). This innovative design element allows a single pool to provide opportunities for both learn to swim and warm water programming which maximises use by younger children through to older adults.
- Indoor zero depth water play equipment and splash pad with adjacent toddlers pool.
- New front of house, shared reception/café and moveable retail display areas. Café to be supported by a wet lounge (adjacent to splashpad) and a dry lounge off the foyer.
- Range of universally assessible change rooms, shower and amenity areas.
- Multi-purpose activity room for group fitness, community activities and training.
- Wellness/consulting rooms providing an opportunity or allied health, services or treatment.
How will the development proceed?
Site establishment is proposed to occur in mid May 2023 after the pool has been closed and Council have decommissioned the facility.
Works will commence with demolition of the existing aquatic areas and associated structures followed by preliminary earthworks in preparation for construction. The existing front entry building incorporating the war memorial honour roles will remain untouched and a new entry building will be constructed fronting Lawrence Street. Where feasible Council will recover any materials, fixtures, fittings and equipment for reuse at other public facilities prior to the demolition.
Whilst the demolition and preliminary earth works are occurring detailed design will be being completed for the new facility. The contractor will also be responsible for obtaining development consent from the Joint Regional Planning Panel for the construction of the new aquatic centre.
Why not stage the development and try to maintain some pool access?
The existing pool is served by a single reticulation, treatment and filtration system. This needs to be demolished and removed to make way or the new aquatic centre.
Due to significant time, cost and health and safety impacts, a staged approach to construction attempting to maintain water access for a longer period was deemed not feasible early in the project development process.
What other Aquatic Recreation Options do I have?
The Ashford pool 35 minutes north of Inverell will reman open during the normal swimming season whilst the redevelopment is occurring. Depending on demand Council will look at extending the operating hours of the Ashford Pool.
Other seasonal pools in adjoining shires within 45 minute’s drive from Inverell include Warialda and Glen Innes. Year-round heated pools are available within 1.5 hours drive in both Armidale and Moree.
Private providers with their own pools have supplemented the learn to swim opportunities in Inverell in the past. It is anticipated this will continue and may be expanded due to the closure.
Major funding has recently been expended upgrading the foreshore and facilities at both Lake Inverell and Copeton Northern Foreshores. This provides a range of water experiences for users including the new Splash Park at Copeton Northern Foreshores.
Council will seek to provide access to temporary water play opportunities such as inflatable parks on occasion throughout the normal summer season.
Last modified: 2 June 2023