Preliminary works have begun on the $30 million aquatic centre redevelopment in Goulburn, the latest stage in the transformation of the historic city’s Victoria Park pool precinct.
Replacing the existing 25-metre pool with an eight-lane pool, the project will also include two new indoor pools, replacement of all amenities, including changing rooms, plus a cafe and new gymnasium.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council awarded the project to national builder FDC Construction. Mayor Bob Kirk said choosing a successful tenderer was a huge milestone in this once-in-a-generation project.
“It has been a significant amount of work to get to this point, and I’m really pleased to now have appointed the construction contract for stage one of the redevelopment,” said Mayor Kirk.
“Preliminary works will now get underway, with a development application modification and early work construction certificate to be ticked off before construction begins in September.”
Mayor Kirk said the work is expected to take 18 months and is due for completion in April 2022.
“FDC has undertaken a number of aquatic centre projects and we look forward to construction getting underway.”
The council’s general manager, Warwick Bennett, said many benefits would flow from the upgrades.
“One of the exciting parts is we are opening up the aquatic centre to Victoria Park so people will be able to interact between the two facilities. You can sit there and your kids can go and have a swim and will be fully supervised by our lifesavers.
“At the cafe, people can look down at the rage cage [a multi-sports facility] and adventure playground. We are trying to make it an absolutely total community facility for the Goulburn people. If you couple that with the Japanese gardens we are building there, they are really fabulous.”
Mr Bennett said the council had engaged in extensive consultation with the youth of Goulburn on what new facilities they wanted. One of the outcomes was a ‘conversation pit’ at Victoria Park.
“Kids can just go and hang out, sit somewhere on their own, talk about whatever they want to talk about and be surrounded by trees which give a bit of peaceful ambience,” he said.
“We are not designing all the upgrades of Victoria Park for visitors; we are doing it for the Goulburn Mulwaree community to enjoy.”
Once site works begin, the existing indoor pool will be unavailable until completion of the project, including during winter of 2021.
To minimise this impact, the 50-metre outdoor pool will remain open for an extended period (September to April, COVID-19 restrictions permitting) although it will also be closed during the 2021 winter.