Aquatic Leisure Centre - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Why is the City developing a new aquatic and leisure centre?
A: The City of Parramatta is changing. Our community is expected to double in size to almost 400,000 residents by 2036. As one of the fastest-growing regions in NSW, our City needs a contemporary aquatic and leisure centre to meet our community’s needs now and for many years to come.
Aquatic and leisure facilities play an important role in providing health and wellbeing benefits for our community across all age groups, abilities, backgrounds, skills and interests. Community facilities, such as the Parramatta aquatic and leisure centre, are an important part of our City and act as a meeting place for a diverse and interactive community.
Q: Why was the Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Pool closed?
A: The Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Pool, a much-loved traditional outdoor-only facility, was closed in March 2017 to allow for the development of Bankwest Stadium. The new, larger stadium required a greater surrounding radius, including circulation zones for pedestrian and emergency vehicle access.
Q: Where will the new aquatic and leisure centre be located?
A: The new centre will be located at the Mays Hill Precinct in Parramatta Park. This location was decided as part of a comprehensive masterplan, following community consultation, on the 20 hectare Mays Hill Precinct.
The Parramatta aquatic and leisure centre will sit on the eastern portion of the former golf course, adjacent to Park Parade near the corner of Pitt Street. Part of the design brief for the new centre was to respect the open space and heritage values and district vistas from the parkland.
For more information, see the Mays Hill Precinct Master Plan on the Parramatta Park website.
Q. What was the vision for the Parramatta aquatic and leisure centre?
A. The Parramatta aquatic and leisure centre reflects Council’s vision for a multipurpose, sustainable and smart project. The team has designed a facility that is more than a swimming facility. It will be a new form of social space for the community – a place to gather with family and friends, swim and play, and enhance the community’s health and wellbeing.
Q. Who designed the Parramatta aquatic and leisure centre?
A. The design for the new aquatic and leisure centre was completed by Andrew Burges Architects, Grimshaw Architects and McGregor Coxall Landscape Architects. The consortium was chosen from a shortlist of four exceptional entries following a high-calibre international Design Excellence Competition.
Q. What will the new aquatic and leisure centre look like?
A. Designed by Andrew Burges Architects, Grimshaw Architects and McGregor Coxall, the aquatic and leisure centre will feature a 50m, 10-lane heated outdoor pool with seating; a 25m, 8-lane heated indoor recreational pool; a dedicated, heated indoor Learn to Swim pool; indoor water playground; a range of change rooms and facilities; multipurpose community rooms; spa and sauna facilities; a fitness centre, including a modern gym and program rooms; cafe; and 200-plus parking spaces.
The centre includes sensitive integration with the site’s Parramatta Park surrounds. The building will offer a generous use of space and light, as well as single-level accessible entry and pathways. The ring enclosure that forms the primary identifying element of the design takes inspiration from both the history of farm enclosures and river swimming enclosures along the Parramatta River. The design also takes into account the heritage, topography and other constraints of the Mays Hill Precinct.
Q. Will the aquatic and leisure centre be accessible?
A. All visitors to Parramatta’s aquatic and leisure centre will have equal access. Accessible features have been incorporated in the facility’s design. These include:
- universally accessible change facilities for people of all ages and abilities;
- accessible lift and ramps to all indoor and outdoor areas;
- ramps in 50m and 25m pools, and a beach-like, zero-depth entry in the water play zone.
Council wants everyone to be able to enjoy its new community facility so accessibility is at the forefront of planning and design.
Q. Who will build the aquatic and leisure centre?
A. City of Parramatta Council has issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) to establish a shortlist of construction firms who have proven ability as a lead contractor on a project of this type. This shortlist is referred to as ‘Stage 1’.
Successful construction firms shortlisted at Stage 1 will be required to submit Tenders based on preliminary design documentation and scope of work provided for in the Invitation to Tender (ITT), known as ‘Stage 2’.
The project team is currently assembling the shortlist of contractors with the expectation that Stage 2 will be completed by end of 2020.
Q. When will the new aquatic and leisure centre open?
A. Following the lodgement of a Development Application in May 2020, Council aims to appoint a builder and commence construction in early 2021. Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the site, as well as our obligations to our joint funding partner, the new aquatic and leisure centre is expected to officially open in mid-2023.
Q. What’s happening now?
A. A Development Application has been lodged for the new facility. Council anticipates planning approval by the end of 2020 and construction to commence in early 2021.
The new aquatic and leisure centre is expected to open in mid-2023.
Q. Where can I find more information?