11 November 2021

Batemans Bay's new aquatic and performing arts centre taking shape

| Tom McGann
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Aquatics, arts and leisure centre

The new aquatics, arts and leisure centre is popping up quickly in Batemans Bay. Photo: Tom McGann.

Batemans Bay’s new aquatic, arts and leisure centre is taking shape – but when can residents expect to slide down the waterslides or catch a show in the performing arts centre?

The answer is next year, with the $69 million structure on track to be completed well before the 2022 Christmas holidays.

Featuring two main sections – one for the aquatic centre and the other for the arts and cultural centre – Bay Pavilions is a first for the coastal town and is expected to be a popular destination for tourists and residents.

The aquatic centre will feature a 25-metre, eight-lane pool with ramp access, a separate 10-metre warm water pool, a freeform indoor leisure pool which includes learn-to-swim and toddler areas, water play splash pads, waterslides, gym and a group fitness and wellness area.

READ ALSO Fears $69 million Bay Pavilions will muscle in on town’s fitness trade

On the other side of the structure, the arts and cultural centre will feature a large, flexible, flat floor auditorium with retractable seating for 350 people, dressing rooms, green room and storage, gallery/exhibition space, rehearsal/dance studio/music room, wet arts workshop space, dry arts workshop space and meeting/multipurpose rooms.

Connecting these two areas will be the foyer, which includes a café, visitor information services and administration offices.

Eurobodalla Shire Council has started the process to hire staff for the new facility.

A council spokesperson said the council had signed a three-year contract with Aligned Leisure to carry out the recruitment.

“Aligned Leisure has begun recruiting to fill positions at the centre,” the spokesperson said.

“Vacancies are advertised on the Bay Pavilions website and through council’s Eurobodalla Jobs and Training Facebook page.”

Batemans Bay regional aquatic, arts and leisure centre site plan

Batemans Bay regional aquatic, arts and leisure centre site plan. Image: Supplied.

While there were construction delays caused by the COVID-19 NSW lockdown, council said ADCO (Australian Building Construction Company) is still on track to complete the build by mid-2022.

“Lockdowns in NSW and ACT did hamper access to trades and materials,” the spokesperson said.

“The blockage of the Suez Canal in April this year also impacted the project.

“Our builders worked around these hold-ups, and earlier wet weather, and while it has impacted project timing, they are still on budget and track to open toward the middle of 2022.”

READ MORE Batemans Bay aquatic and arts centre project delayed by Suez Canal blockage

Once open to the public, community members will be able to swim in the new indoor pools (which unlike the last community pool, will remain open during winter), see a show in the performing arts centre, work out at the gym or grab a bite to eat at the café.

Batemans Bay residents say they are excited for the new centre with many agreeing more recreational activities are needed in the town.

“I’m pretty excited to use the waterslide,” one young local said.

“It will be nice to have a coffee while my kids play in the pool,” another added.

Work initially began on the facility in September 2020.

READ MORE Mini golf business sunk by aquatic and leisure centre

However the development was not without controversy with the beloved Batemans Bay Mini Golf forced to close as the structure needed the land, as well as disappointment from some residents, upset that the pool was only 25 metres – not the 50 metre pool previously serving the town.

Despite this, the Batemans Bay community is still excited to experience this new recreational activity in their town so soon.

“It’s bigger than I was expecting, but it is going to be good for the town,” another local community member said.

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