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Parramatta Aquatic Centre gets official opening

Parramatta Aquatic Centre gets official opening
September 25, 2023

After six years in the making, the landmark Parramatta Aquatic Centre has opened to the public.

Located within Parramatta Park on the edge of central Parramatta, the new facility replaces the former Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Pool, demolished in 2017 to make way for the new CommBank Stadium.

The City of Parramatta’s $88.6 million swimming, fitness and wellness hub, features a 50 metre 10-lane Olympic sized heated outdoor pool, a 25 metre eight-lane heated indoor pool, dedicated learn-to-swim indoor pool, spas, sauna, steam room and fitness centre.

The Parramatta Aquatic Centre (known as PAC) is also home to the City of Parramatta's first all-abilities pool with ramps to enter the 50 metre and 25 metre pool and a level, beach-style entry into the water 'splash and play' zone. There are accessible change rooms as well as lifts and ramps to all indoor and outdoor areas.

Today’s opening saw a large gathering of Traditional Owners, community members, local dignitaries and project stakeholders.

Speaking as he officially opened the venue, City of Parramatta Lord Mayor, Sameer Pandey stated “the smiles on the faces of the kids splashing around says it all - this is a facility that will bring joy to our whole community.

“We’ve created a place where our community can have fun for generations to come. A place where kids will swim their first lap and race to victory at the swimming carnival, where future Olympians will be nurtured, where families can cool down on a long, hot summer day and where locals can train and wind down all year-round.”

Mayor Pandey said the multi-purpose nature of the Centre meant it was expected to attract more than one million visitors a year - about 10 times the annual visitation to the Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Centre.

He noted “there are so many reasons to visit the PAC - from taking the kids to swimming lessons or to cool down in our ‘splash and play’ area to training in one of the three pools, working out in the gym or taking a yoga class and then relaxing in the sauna afterwards.”

Importance of Aquatic Centres
Representing the NSW Premier at the event, Donna Davis, State Member for Parramatta, advised “Parramatta Aquatic Centre is an example of how state and local government can work together for the benefit of the community.”

Expanding on the benefits of aquatic centres, she added that “they provide opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with others.

"They are the ultimate equalisers and a catalyst for fostering a sense of community.

"Swimming is such an integral part of our common Australian culture, and that's one of the reasons the people of Parramatta have missed their public pool so much.

“It's important that all people, especially children, have skills and confidence in and around the water so they can safely enjoy a splash at the local pool, a trip to the beach or a dip in Lake Parramatta.

“Water safety education is key to ensuring children learn vital safety and survival skills from a young age, a skill that they will keep with them for life.

“All of us remember the pool where we learn to swim and the PAC will take its place in collective memory for generations to come.

“I'm proud to say that the NSW Government is committed to supporting safe participation in swimming.”

Design
Designed by Grimshaw Architects, Andrew Burges Architects and McGregor Coxall, and built by construction company Lipman, PAC is located on a sloping site opposite Parramatta Park and has been designed to blend in with the landscape with a circular form that limits its intrusion into the surrounding park lands.

Grimshaw Project Director Josh Henderson said it was a much-needed piece of infrastructure for western Sydney, commenting “the design team, City of Parramatta and Lipman have all collaborated to create a valuable community asset that is enjoyable to experience, well made, highly functional and accessible.

“As a new home to many community groups, the opening of the facility will provide vibrant landscaped public spaces for fitness, sport, learn to swim classes and for time with friends and family.”

Aquatic elements
Swimplex was contracted to supply the pools, filtration, water toys and pool hardware, supplying and installing five stainless steel pools using Myrtha Pools technology, a Swim Wall and pool hardware package from S.R.Smith/Fluidra Australia and a water play package from Parkequip.

Other parts of the project included UFF filtration and ProMinent Australia dosing including an on site chlorine generator.

Fitness Centre
Novofit has equipped PAC’s gym with over 100 pieces of equipment from leading brands including Precor, Concept2 and Ziva.

Membership and Entry Management
PAC features a fully integrated access control and membership management system from PerfectGym for all entry to the facility, controlled through four stand-alone kiosks.

Embracing Perfect Gym Solutions’ branded mobile app, members and guests simply scan a QR code for entry, while parents wishing to enrol for swimming lessons use a bespoke enrolment process and questionnaire assessment delivered via the Perfect Gym API, while 'walk-ins' and members alike are able to utilise Self Service Payment Kiosks.

The PerfectGym technology enables bookings to be made for all PAC services and classes and integrates with access to storage lockers from Metra Australia and turnstiles from dormakaba.

Cost
The $88.6 million project has been co-funded by the City of Parramatta's Council and the NSW Government, which has invested $38.5 million from its Restart NSW Fund and will employ more than 140 people.

Images (from top): Dignitaries at today's opening of the Parramatta Aquatic Centre (credit: jnphoto), the Centre's outdoor 50 metre pool, the plaque marking the opening (credit: jnphoto), a child enjoys PAC's splash pad (credit: jnphoto) and the Centre's circular design limit its intrusion into the surrounding Parramatta Park (credit: Mike Chorley Photograph).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-founder/Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-founder 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.

In 2020, he launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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