Winchelsea Pool Revamp

Survey is now closed.

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Thank you to community members who provided feedback on the concept design. Officers will now finalise the concept design and have noted a range of considerations to be addressed through an upcoming detailed design process. There will be an opportunity for you to provide feedback during this process. Stay tuned.

The recent opportunity for feedback followed the initial survey responses from almost 300 people on the future of the Winchelsea Pool, the development of three concept options that were shared with 60 members of the Community Reference Group, and the selection of a preferred concept design option. This option proposes to replicate the main pool, enlarge the medium pool and include a new splash park. Given that the whole facility needs to be rebuilt, the concept design relocates the amenities building to the southeast of the site to create a more central entry and better connection with the playgrounds.

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback through this project. It's been greatly appreciated and has been critical in informing the design within the parameters we are working to.

View the concept design here(PDF, 1MB)

More information about the design and the project is available in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, below. 

If you have any further questions, or require a hard copy survey form, please contact Paul Elshaug, Recreation Planner on 5261 0600 or email pelshaug@surfcoast.vic.gov.au.

The much-loved Winchelsea Pool - first opened in 1963 - is in need of a revamp after many years of providing summer fun for local families.

The revamped facility must fit within the existing footprint, include components that are appropriate for a local level community aquatic facility, provide a better operational performance and be a space that encourages ongoing community involvement and activation. Council's Asset Renewal Program has allocated $4.3m to the project over two financial years (2022/23 and 2023/24).

For more information, please contact the Recreation Planning Team at info@surfcoast.vic.gov.au, or 5261 0600.

Read more about the project (PDF, 2MB) 

 

Can the pools be heated?

  • The concept design notes that pools will be heated – the scope of this is yet to be determined as we are only in the concept stage. However the likely options will be solar tubing on building roofs and solar blankets on the pool surface.

Can the pool be open longer or year-round?

  • The level of heating will determine the temperature of the water and therefore the length of time the pool can be open, which will be further considered in a detailed design phase. Also needing consideration are the costs associated with a longer pool season. This could be monitored and managed in line with visitation.

Can the pool be enclosed, or set up to be covered in winter and open in summer?

  • As above, the water temperature will be a key factor in the length of the pool season. Initial research has found that a retractable roof for a public pool is possible however is very uncommon, and is totally dependent on the width of the pool being a maximum amount (slightly less than the existing main pool). It is therefore not considered feasible at this point in time, and an appropriate pool width (i.e. 6 lanes) shouldn’t be compromised for a potential future roof. Technology may change to enable one in the future.

Can a waterslide be included now or in the future?

  • Provision for a future waterslide was included in one of the concept design options, however it received a mixed response. The concerns included the loss of prime open/shaded space that would be taken by a waterslide and additional requirements including a lifeguard and running costs. There were also concerns with the limited variety that it would provide, particularly compared to the splash park.

Can a warm water pool be included now or in the future?

  • Consultant advice is that a warm water pool does not fit within the site. Any attempt to include it would mean that other key aquatic components would be eliminated or significantly compromised. On this basis, the design does not include future provision for a warm water pool. Further, Officers believe that a more suitable location for a potential future warm water pool in Winchelsea would be adjacent to the Community Gym at the Hub at Eastern Reserve as part of a potential future expansion of this facility. With that said, a warm water pool is estimated to cost several million dollars so any expansion to this facility would be a significant project and have to be deemed a priority for the community and source the required funding.

Can the facility have salt water instead of traditional chlorination?

  • Initial research on this option is that commercially-operated salt water pools have a challenge to deliver the grams of chlorination needed to comply with standards. The solution is to have massive salt chlorinators and a significant amount of salt. This can then create issues with long term maintenance due to the corrosive nature of salt on mechanical components. Salt water pools are more common in the northern states, but not in Victoria.

Could the facility be built elsewhere?

  • This was suggested by some survey respondents but many other respondents love the current location. Officers also support the current location within the river precinct; supporting family-friendly activities adjacent to the soon-to-be-constructed adventure playground and existing play space. As noted above, a warm water pool could be considered at a different site that is a more complementary fit.

What do other regional Victorian towns have?

  • Officers undertook a benchmarking exercise on the provision of aquatic facilities in towns in regional Victoria. This can be considered from the perspective of when Winchelsea grows to a population of between 5,000 to 10,000. The data shows that towns with a population of approximately 5,000 have a similar provision to Winchelsea. Towns close to or above 6,000 people generally have provision of an indoor 25m pool.

When would works start?

  • Once a design is finalised, construction will be scheduled to start in early 2023, to avoid interrupting the 2022/2023 season. We’ll be in a better position to determine when works will start once we go through the detailed design process in the second half of 2022. 

What happens to the pool between now and then?

  • As we’ve said, the pool is old. We’ll do our best to have it operational right through the 2022/23 season. However with ageing infrastructure and equipment, it’s possible that there’ll be times when repairs are needed and the pool may have to close temporarily until it’s ready.

How much does the pool cost to run each year?

  • The facility has been provided to the community at an average cost of $131,000 per year for the past 5 years. Visits have averaged 7,150 per year over this time, therefore the average ‘cost per visit’ has been $14.88 per visit. While we acknowledge the many physical, mental and social health benefits provided by the pool, a new facility must provide a better operational performance.

How much is on Council's budget for the pool revamp project?

  • Council's Asset Renewal Program has allocated $4.3m to the project over two financial years (2022/23 and 2023/24).