With its rebuilding on target for completion in September, Sydney’s Inner West Council today invited media representatives to view the $44.7 million redevelopment of the Ashfield Aquatic Centre.
Part of a $65 million investment in aquatic and recreation facilities by the Council, the upgrading of the Centre, which first opened in 1963, will see it offer four indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness centre, a spa and steam area, and a café.
Commenting on the need for the upgraded facility, Simon Duck, the Council's Senior Manager for Sport and Recreation, explained “aquatic centres hold iconic places in Australian society.
"Not just for participation in recreation and fun but for socialisation with peers, family socialisation and inter-generational activities.
"They're incredible hubs of community attendance with programs for all age ranges (such as) learn-to-swim and fitness programs plus squads, personal training and exercise physiology. "
Emphasising that said the value of aquatic centres was shown when they were forced to close during the recent Coronavirus lockdown - only reopening in recent weeks for restricted numbers - noting “people rely on health and wellness for their wellbeing.
"Reopening pools has been incredibly important."
Duck expects the new facility to attract 500,000 visits a year.
The high quality and cost effective design features a number of state-of-the-art features including the Australian-first installation of Akvo Spiralift floating floor from S.R.Smith in the outdoor program pool able to accommodate uses including swimming lessons, water polo matches and aquafitness classes, with the floor able to be raised and lowered on demand.
Simon Duck, Senior Manager for Sport and Recreation at Inner West Council, comments on the redevelopment.
The Ashfield Aquatic Centre (AAC) development includes:
• A new 50 metre outdoor pool with accessible ramp and moveable boom
• A new outdoor program pool with floating/moveable 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
• An improved entrance with customer service area, change rooms, crèche and retail space
• A new health and fitness centre
• New community meeting room facilities
• A community green space and covered seating
• Landscaped areas and terraces for the external pools
• Increased parking spaces.
When open, the AAC will be managed by Drew Brown, who commenced in the role of General Manager of the facility this month, while the Council has also announced that Robert and Philip Fallato have won the tender to operate the Centre’s café.
The Fallatos also manage the café at the Council’s Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre, Blu Aqua Kiosk, and Kellerman’s Café at Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in Enmore.
The Council is also currently undertaking a $9 million refurbishment of Dawn Fraser Baths at Balmain.
Images: A Crystal Pools worker tiles the indoor swimming pool - retained from the original facility - at the new Ashfield Aquatic Centre (top), one of the new outdoor pools nears completion (middle) and media interest in the 'floating' floor from S.R.Smith in the program pool at the centre (below).
Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.
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