Plans for Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre

Published on 01 September 2022

SCAHC Concept Plans 2.jpg

Surf Coast Shire Council has released concept plans for the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre, showing its alignment adjoining Wurdi Baierr Stadium in Torquay North.

The project will meet current and future community health and wellbeing needs and Council is continuing to pursue all avenues for additional funding for the project, to offset rapidly increasing construction costs.

The concept plans show a 25-metre seasonal pool running east-west, with provision for it to be enclosed in the future.

Two under-cover warm water learn to swim / hydrotherapy pools, each approximately 20x10 metres, are to the east of the main pool close to allied health rooms. Amenities including change rooms are to the south, with a lift to a first storey gym and multipurpose exercise spaces.

“We are doing all we can to deliver an aquatic and health centre because we know it will be critical to meeting community health and wellbeing needs, and it has been a long-held community ambition,” Mayor Libby Stapleton said.

“The centre will provide great benefits for our community, importantly catering for users from growing age groups such as young children needing to learn to swim and older adults seeking warm water exercise options and hydrotherapy.

“This project still requires $7.55 million more than our existing funding pledges totalling $39.25 million, but with construction costs increasing by $300,000 a month we cannot afford to pause the design process. This model is mindful of the operating costs of the facility, committing to spending that is within our means and not impacting the provision of other valuable services to our ratepayers.”

Concept drawings have been produced to demonstrate the centre’s size, elements and alignment on the site. Aspects such as windows and aesthetics are yet to be finalised and will be part of the next design stage.

“We will now move ahead with detailed design, and look forward to receiving the support of our Australian and Victorian government funding partners for the revised project scope. At the same time we continue to advocate for further funding and welcome community support in those efforts,” Cr Stapleton said.

“This is the most sustainable and financially responsible model for now but if one of our government funding partners was prepared to fund a 50-metre pool, of course that would be welcomed. The concept drawings allow space for a larger pool.”

The design is informed by construction and ongoing operational costs, environmental impact and anticipated user demand.

Gym and allied health spaces are included as they enhance the centre as a ‘one-stop-shop’ and generate income to help offset costs of running aquatic components.

Cr Stapleton said Council would be seeking funding commitments during the lead-in to the November Victorian Election.

“We are also open to philanthropic and private contributions,” Cr Stapleton said.

“We know that our community members are passionate about seeing the best facility built while being financially responsible.”

People can join a community advocacy campaign to lend their support to Council’s fundraising efforts via Council is also interested in hearing from potential sponsors or businesses looking to leverage opportunities by investing in the project.

Council will review the project again no later than February 2023. By then detailed design will be complete, providing more specific costs, and Council will know whether further funding has been committed.

The Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre is funded by the Australian Government $20 million, Victorian Government $13.5 million, and Surf Coast Shire Council $5.75 million plus land.


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