Aquatic centre for Cessnock

NEW POOL PLAN: Cessnock Council has earmarked Turners Park as a possible site for a new aquatic centre. Pictured: The current Cessnock swimming facility.A new aquatic centre costing up to $48 million has been earmarked for Cessnock’sTurner Park.

The first issue of a draft feasibility and design report for the centre was endorsed by Cessnock City Council lastWednesday.

Turner Park on Aberdare Road was chosen as the preferred locationof six sites that were assessed.

Two options will be considered fordetailed business modelling and further concept development.

The estimated cost for an entirely-indoor centre would be $48 million, while the alternative (with a51-metre pool locatedoutdoors) would cost $39 million.

Both options would include a25-metre indoor pool, awarm water/therapy pool, a learn-to-swim pool, a spa, sauna, leisure water/water play area,meeting rooms and car parking.

A 51-metre pool allows for the pool to be divided into two with a one-metre boom in the middle, effectively doubling the amount of lanes available at a time.

Financial modelling based on the next 10 years showed that it is more effective to build a new facility than to keep funding repairs and maintenance of the existing Cessnock Pool,which was built in 1935.

Council has set a target of$20 million in external funding for the project, from programs such as the National Stronger Regions Fund and NSW State Government Sports and Cultural Fund Grants.

“Whichever facility option council adopts as the new Cessnock Aquatic Centre, the community should be excited about this project,” Cessnock Mayor BobPynsent said.“We will now progress with a detailed business model, further concept development and final feasibility and design for both medium and high embellishment options for the community to consider.”

Cessnock Pool Users Group spokesperson Diane Partridge said the bigger pool should be built indoors so it can be usedyear-round.

“If it was built outdoors we would not be able to use it six-to-seven months of the year,” she said.“And if we only had a 25-metre pool indoors, we would have the same problem as Kurri in the winter–not enough lane space.”

Mrs Partridge –a previous winner of the Masters Swimming Australiaofficial of the year –said a state-of-the-art facility with all pools located indoors will attract high-level swim meets.

“It will be a centre of excellence with the versatility to cater for families, high-level swimmers, coaches and trainers,” she said.

Options to relocate current user groups of the Turner Park site–including Hunter Valley Footballand Peden’s Cricket Club–will be investigated.The draft plan is expected to be on public exhibition by mid-2016.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.