Rejuvenating Regional Public Pools

Today, in the metropolitan areas, modern aquatic and leisure facilities provide a broad and increasingly more sophisticated range of health and social wellbeing benefits to local communities.

The strong growth in Melbourne’s suburbs drives community demand for new and large aquatic and leisure centres, which typically cost between $40m to $80m. Unfortunately, those residing in regional townships are deprived of any such luxury.

Whilst a lucky few regional pools have undergone significant refurbishment, most struggle to remain on top of critical repair work, whilst others continue to leak water and ratepayer money into the ground.

It has long been accepted that there is the need to rejuvenate regional public pools, leveraging modular design principles and techniques which can achieve accessible, scalable and sustainable aquatic and leisure solutions for regional communities. Working with select industry partners and consultants, LSV has been undertaking a project to identify the viability of a cost effective and sustainable approach to rejuvenating these regional public pools.

The benefits of well-designed aquatic and leisure facilities include improved service delivery and efficiency, increased social connectedness / participation and better use of government asset investment. These benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Low skill local employment
  • Health, safety and wellbeing benefits
  • Increased social connection
  • High optional demand
  • Increased physical activity
  • Reduced burden to health care
  • Increased community cohesion
  • Community safe place in an emergency
  • Increased civic pride
  • Increased community training / education
  • Improved township perception
  • Contribution to drowning prevention
  • Co-habitation opportunities
  • Income generating opportunities
  • Increased tourism potential
  • Improved swimming and water safety skills
  • Targeted engagement opportunities
  • Increased community resilience
  • Secondary employment opportunities
  • Alignment with local philosophy

The design, construction and operation of new regional facilities should be based on eight key principles. These are i) scalable modular construction, ii) multifunctional community usage, iii) principles of universal design, iv) reduced environmental impact, v) neighbourhood safe places, vi) safeguarding young people, vii) sustainable business model and viii) local construction / employment.

LSV are calling for expressions of interest from Victorian Councils to act as case studies, enabling the concept/model to be tested within the context of a specific community / township. Suitable townships will have a population between 2,500 and 10,000 and an existing swimming pool facility. Selected venues will undergo:

  • Infrastructure conditions audit
  • Facility Design Risk Assessment
  • Pool Safety Assessment
  • Templated costings for renovation
  • Usage and performance review
  • Local Council discussions

The outcome of this stage of the project is to better understand if the project concept and core principles are appropriate and whether there is any Council appetite for such redevelopment. The output will be the development of a feasibility study and case study for each participating swimming pool venue. The feasibility study would be provided to the Council in confidence and used to further inform the project. There is no costs to Council to be involved in the project and no commitment by Council to be involved in the project into the future.

For further information or to express your interest please contact alek.olszewski@lsv.com.au

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