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Pirtek Stadium expansion to require demolition of Parramatta Swimming Centre
A design brief compiled by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers for the expansion of Parramatta's Pirtek Stadium shows that the Parramatta Swimming Centre will need to be demolished in order to fit the redevelopment.
The NSW Government's rapid moves to develop new stadia in Sydney has seen speculation that the Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Centre would be sacrificied for the $300 million stadium expansion.
As reported by The Parramatta Advertiser, NSW Sport Minister Stuart Ayres briefed Parramatta City Council representatives on the design brief for the planned 30,000 seat venue this week.
Parramatta Lord Mayor Paul Garrard said he would prefer the pool stayed at its current location but would work with the government to find an alternative site.
Mayor Garrard told The Parramatta Advertiser "if the pool has to go, well I hope that the minister has a plan and we want to work with them."
When asked whether the NSW Government should pay for the pool’s relocation costs, Mayor Garrard said “of course', adding "I think if they take the pool away then there needs to be compensation.”
Demolishing the Parramatta Swimming Centre, which sits on land owned by the Parramatta Park Trust and currently leased by the Council on a month-by-month basis, would reportedly allow a larger stadium entry precinct and retail space.
Development of the plan by NSW has involved the Council along with representatives from the National Rugby League, Football Federation Australia and the Australian Rugby Union as well as the Parramatt Eels and Western Sydney Wanderers clubs.
One of the major discussion points has also been the corporate capabilities of a new venue, with the Parramatta Eels seeking a major expansion of corporate facilities.
The demolition of the existing stadium will begin after this year's NRL season, with March 2019 earmarked as a likely completion date for the new venue.
When expansion of Pirtek Stadium was first proposed last year the NSW Government was adamant there were no plans to move or remove the pool.
At the time, Parramatta State Liberal MP Geoff Lee told The Parramatta Advertiser "there are no talks about getting rid of the pool.
"Our pool is a great pool and well-established, and it would cost too much.”
Now Lee favours a plan to develop a $25 million "world-class aquatic facility" on a new site between the Pirtek Stadium and the Parramatta CBD.
While conceding that the NSW Government has yet to allocate any funds for a new aquatic facility, he stated “at the end of the day I expect the government to be very responsive to the community’s requirements and to formally discuss our concerns."
When asked about plans for a new aquatic facility, a Council spokesperson stated "Parramatta City Council regards the provision of swimming facilities as an extremely important part of the services we provide to the community.
"Council will continue to work with the State Government in terms of the plans for the stadium and how the pool will be impacted."
The Parramatta Swimming Centre received a $7.8 million upgrade in 2007 including new filtration systems for its four pools and waterslides, a new entrance, new change rooms, kiosk and program room, major repairs to the 50 metre pool, waterslide repairs and bench seating for 460 spectators.
During hot weather in January this year, it registered record attendances at Parramatta Pool with more than 1,300 visitors passed through its gates on Wednesday 20th January, almost doubling average daily visitation of 730 in the 2014/15 summer.
The 1,300 swimmers were in addition to a large contingent in attendance at the pool for the NSW Under 18 Water Polo Championships.
At the time, Mayor Garrard stated “Parramatta’s pool is a wonderful community facility close to the heart of our city and it is the perfect oasis for families to escape the heat and have some fun on a hot summer’s day.”
In addition to the Parramatta Swimming Centre, the Council operates the Granville Swimming Centre and has returned swimming to Lake Parramatta.
Images: Prelimary design for the new Pirtek Stadium (top) and the Parramatta Swimming Centre (below).
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21st August 2015 - STUDY RECOMMENDS $1.85 BILLION SPENDING ON SYDNEY STADIUMS
26th February 2015 - SYDNEY’S POWERHOUSE MUSEUM TO RELOCATE TO PARRAMATTA
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