Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre

  • Project typeAquatic and Health Centre
  • Project scheduleCurrently in Planning Phase - completion mid-2025
  • Contractor nameTBC

Project Update - 22 June 2022

More money is needed to deliver the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre.

Extraordinary cost increases in the construction market, being felt across the private and public sectors, have increased the cost of the project to more than $50 million. Meanwhile, the current budget for the centre is $39.25 million.

As a result of the increase in construction costs alternative design options have been developed and will be considered by Councillors at their meeting on Tuesday 28 June 2022. You can access the Council Report here.

The community expects Council to be financially responsible. Council is not in a position to contribute further to the cost of the facility.

With construction costs increasing by $300,000 per month, it is vital that a decision on the future of the project is made as quickly as possible.

Delivery of an aquatic and health centre is a long-held community ambition. More than 1000 children will need a local, learn-to-swim option when the privately run Torquay swim school closes at the end of the year. With a growing, active and ageing community, we know the need for health (including hydrotherapy), leisure and fitness options will continue to increase.

It is therefore important to explore all opportunities to responsibly progress the project. This centres on securing additional funding from the state and federal governments.

The most sustainable and financially responsible design option is two indoor warm water pools (for learn to swim, hydrotherapy and leisure activities) and a 25m seasonal outdoor pool. This is driven by analysis of the cost of construction, on-going operating costs, environmental impact and anticipated user demand.

The rescoped design allows for future development, including enclosing the outdoor pool and adding a children’s play area.

 

FAQs - updated June 2022

What will Councillors consider at the June 2022 Council Meeting?

Councillors will consider a change of scope to the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre project; the commencement of detailed design; and to make further attempts to secure additional funding. Councillors will also consider what Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) elements should be included at the centre.

Why is Council proposing to change the scope?

Extraordinary cost increases in the construction market, being felt across the private and public sectors, have increased the cost of the project to more than $50 million. It is unfeasible in its current form.

What is the new proposed scope and what is the cost?

The most sustainable and financially responsible option is two indoor warm water pools (for learn to swim, hydrotherapy and leisure activities) and a 25m outdoor pool. This is driven by analysis of the cost of construction, on-going operating costs, environmental impact and anticipated user demand.

The rescoped design would also allow for future development, including enclosing the outdoor pool and adding a children’s play area.

If the project budget is $39.25m and the proposed new scope is $43.5m, how will the difference be funded?

More money is needed for the project. Council will seek additional external funding to cover the shortfall.

Shouldn’t we just wait for the construction market to settle and costs to go down before proceeding with the project?

With construction costs increasing by $300,000 per month we need to act now. It is not known if or when costs will stabilise or go down.

Why doesn’t Council contribute more money?

Our community expects us to be fiscally responsible. Council is not in a position to contribute the additional funding required for the original scope.  A significant additional contribution from Council would place pressure on Council’s long term financial plan and impact our ability to deliver other projects and services.

Why doesn’t Council apply for more government funding?

It is important to explore all opportunities to responsibly progress the project. This centres on securing additional funding from the state and federal governments.

Why not scrap the non pool components (gym/allied health) and just build a pool?

A gym and allied health spaces are included for two reasons. These elements are required as part of the agreements with our funding partners. Secondly, they provide the best opportunity to generate an income to help offset the costs of the aquatic components, which are expensive to operate.

Why is Council proposing to build an outdoor 25m pool?

The proposal for an outdoor 25m pool is necessary to bring the project cost closer to budget. Further, the smaller sized outdoor pool will reduce ongoing operational costs. Importantly, the design will be future proofed so the outdoor pool could be enclosed at a later date.

Why is Council proposing to include an additional indoor warm water pool?

An additional indoor warm water pool will allow for high demand activities including learn to swim, rehabilitation, leisure and play. We know there are more than 1000 children that will need a local, learn-to-swim option when the privately run Torquay swim school closes at the end of the year.

With a growing, active and ageing community, we know the need for health (including hydrotherapy), leisure and fitness options will continue to increase. An additional indoor warm water pool will improve revenue to help offset operating costs.

Why is Council still pursuing the Aquatic and Health Centre?

We’re doing all we can to deliver an aquatic and health centre because we know it’s been a long held community ambition. But more money is needed to make it happen.

What Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) requirements are being confirmed?

At their June meeting Councillors will consider if full electrification (no gas) and 6 Star Green Star should be incorporated into the design.

Are these additional ESD elements included in the project budget?

No. Council will need to seek further funding to make the facility fully electric to meet community expectations regarding the environmental impacts and to ensure emissions reduction targets are met at all three levels of government. 

Timeline

October 2021:

  • Project plan confirmed

December 2022 (TBC, date to be revised):

  • Final designs
  • Costings confirmed

May 2023 (TBC, date to be revised):

  • Construction contractor appointed

June 2023 (TBC, date to be revised):

  • Construction commencement
  • Building permit

Mid-2025 (TBC, date to be revised):

  • Construction completion

Previous Project Updates

PROJECT UPDATE – JUNE 2022

This exciting project is progressing through the design phase.

Officers are continuing to work with the architects and design team including expert sub-consultants on the various components of the facility. We are currently in an important phase of the project where we are assessing overall project costs and Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) inclusions in-line with Council Policy. We are assessing how increases to the cost of construction being experienced in the sector generally will impact on the project. We know, for example, materials such as steel and concrete have risen significantly as a consequence of the pandemic. Like us, many other councils and other levels of government established project budgets well before these extraordinary cost pressures emerged.

We are also considering ESD aspirations. Council adopted its Environmentally Sustainable Council Facilities Policy in November 2021, to ensure climate change will be considered and positive environmental outcomes will be generated at new facilities. The aquatic centre project was costed, funded and initiated prior to the adoption of this policy and it assumed a predominantly gas-powered system. We are now looking at the implications of making this facility all electric and a 6-Star Green Star facility.

Further updates will be provided on the design process and other elements of the project as we progress. Stay tuned!

PROJECT UPDATE – APRIL 2022

This exciting project is in full swing and progressing well. Please note the following updates on key elements of the project:

Detailed Design

Officers are meeting regularly with architects Peddle Thorp and External Project Managers Turner & Townsend to work through the initial stage of the detailed design process. The current focus is the development of a concept design in collaboration with the Community Reference Group, that will be shared with the broader community in the coming months. A final design will be completed by December 2022.

Community Reference Group (CRG)

The Community Reference Group met for the first in February. It was great to hear about people’s experiences and interest in the project, and we’re very excited about the design process and working with community members who will offer an insight into the perspectives they represent. These include club swimming, lifesaving, accessibility, rehabilitation, learn to swim, allied health, families, children and youth, seniors, community groups/program, health and fitness, and experience in operating similar facilities. The CRG met again in mid-March to review initial concept designs and provide feedback. Once again it was a valuable and positive discussion, with insights critical to inform the next steps in the design process.

Operational Model

In January 2022 Council received and noted the ‘Surf Coast Aquatic & Health Centre Management Model Final Report’ and agreed that the External Contractor management model is the preferred model for the purposes of continuing to plan the Surf Coast Aquatic & Health Centre. The Council Meeting minutes are available to download here.

Further updates will be provided on these and other elements of the project as we progress. Stay tuned!

 

PROJECT UPDATE – DECEMBER 2021

External Project Manager

Council have appointed Turner & Townsend as the External Project Manager. They are an international organisation with extensive experience in project management of large scale facilities, including aquatic and health facilities in Victoria. More information is available on their website: https://www.turnerandtownsend.com/en/expertise/services/project-management/

Detailed Design

An initiation meeting with architects Peddle Thorp and Turner & Townsend will be held prior to Christmas and the design process will kick into gear in January. A final design will be completed by December 2022.

Community Reference Group (CRG)

The Community Reference Group will meet for the first time early in the New Year. We’re very excited about starting the design process and working with community members who will offer an insight into the perspectives they represent. 

Further updates will be provided on these and other elements of the project as we progress. Stay tuned!

 

PROJECT UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2021

This exciting project is in full swing and progressing well. Further to the Project Update for October, please note the following updates on key elements of the project:

Detailed Design

As above, Council appointed Peddle Thorp at the 23 November Council Meeting and their work will begin prior to the end of 2021. There will be an opportunity for community comment on components of the design, which will be communicated when we reach that stage in 2022. A final design will be completed by December 2022.

External Project Manager

Tenders for an External Project Manager closed on 10 November and evaluation is currently underway. An External Project Manager will be appointed in December and they will join the project as soon as possible.

Community Reference Group (CRG)

The Expression of Interest process has closed and applications are currently being assessed. The process sought interest from community members who will represent perspectives across a range of areas, such as club swimming, older adults exercise, learn to swim, allied health and more. 

Further updates will be provided on these and other elements of the project as we progress. Stay tuned!

 

PROJECT UPDATE – OCTOBER 2021

This exciting project is in full swing and progressing well. Please note the following updates on key elements of the project:

Detailed Design

The tender for design services is currently out to market and closing Wednesday 20 October. The aim is for Council to appoint the successful architect at the 23 November Council Meeting, with their work beginning before the end of 2021. There will be an opportunity for community comment on components of the design later in 2022, which will be communicated when we reach that stage. A final design will be completed by December 2022.

External Project Manager

Council is currently seeking tenders for an External Project Manager who will be responsible for overseeing the design and construction of Council’s largest ever project. The Aquatic and Health Centre is as exciting as it is complex, and requires a specific skill set to oversee all aspects. Project Managers with a high level of experience and expertise in managing large-scale aquatic projects will provide key oversight and advice to Council. We expect an External Project Manager to be appointed in line with Detailed Design services tender.

Planning Phase

Excellent progress has been made throughout the planning phase and this is now complete. In addition to the architect and External Project Manager engagements, Council will also be engaging other key consultants between now and early 2022 who will provide critical specialist advice for the project through until completion. These include a Quantity Surveyor, Building Surveyor, Planning Consultant and Recreation Planner. Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation will be consulted throughout the design phase.

Project Control Group (PCG)

The PCG was established at the start of the project to take responsibility for the oversight and management of the project. The PCG is responsible for planning and implementation of the project charter, stakeholder engagement, procurement, budget strategy, and monitoring risks, quality, scope, issues and timelines. Membership of the PCG is made up of Council staff and representatives from the State Government who oversee the funding programs that have contributed to the project.

Project Working Group (PWG)

The PWG’s role is to assist in the design phase of the new facility, where participants will provide input into design requirements and design reviews. Membership of the PWG includes key Council staff who have experience in a range of related areas, and State Government representatives from the PCG.

Community Reference Group (CRG)

There will be an opportunity for community members to be involved in the project through a Community Reference Group. An Expression of Interest process will commence on Thursday October 21 seeking community members who can represent perspectives across a range of areas, such as club swimming, older adults exercise, learn to swim, allied health and more. Details will be available on the webpage from October 21.

Further updates will be provided on these and other elements of the project as we progress. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location

Wadawurrung Way, Torquay 3228  View Map

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