Saturday, September 18, 2021

$15m Drysdale aquatic centre tender to be released

A tender will be released on Saturday inviting submissions for the construction on a $15 million outdoor aquatic facility in Drysdale, to be jointly funded by the City of Greater Geelong Council and the Australian Government.

Council says the release of the stage one tender to construct the 50-metre, eight-lane outdoor pool is a significant milestone for the local community.

“We’ve listened to a range of suggestions from the local community and have refined the designs while working to meet the requirements of the funding agreement with the Australian Government,” said Mayor Trent Sullivan.

“For too long the Bellarine community has had less access to aquatic facilities than other areas of Greater Geelong, so we want to get on construction underway as soon as possible,” he said.

“We expect construction to start next year and we’re looking forward to delivering a modern aquatic facility that will be a place to exercise, be healthy, and have fun.

“We know our summers can be very hot so the City will install shade structures and plant more than 100 trees to provide sun protection for spectators.”

The pool will be heated all-year-round so residents can keep swimming during the cooler months, while we keep working to secure funding to construct an indoor pool.

The design features all-abilities change facilities, an entry pavilion, a kiosk, tiered covered seating, a landscaped community lawn area, and carparking for 60 cars.

Council will invest $5.45 million in the stage one project, while the Australian Government has committed $10 million.

The design – endorsed by Council in April 2021 – allows for delivery of a stage two indoor aquatic facility and the City is progressing the project in stages as it continues to seek investment from all levels of government.

The pool depth will range from 1.1 metres to 1.8 metres, which complies with FINA (International Swimming Federation) and Swimming Australia standards. This depth is suitable for family use, learn to swim classes, water exercise classes, and Local and School and Carnivals.

Next month the City will seek community feedback on the concept designs for stage two of the project, which will include an indoor warm water pool, aqua play and other facilities.

An independent scoping study commissioned by the City last year confirmed residents in north Bellarine towns such as Drysdale, Curlewis, Portarlington, St Leonards and Indented Head have lesser access to aquatic facilities than those elsewhere in Greater Geelong, with some facing drives of up to 35 minutes to the nearest 50-metre outdoor pool.

Extensive community consultation was also undertaken on the development of Council’s Social Infrastructure Plan in 2020. More than 2000 people provided responses on the plan, which identified a new aquatic facility on the north Bellarine as a priority action.

Visit Council’s contracts and tenders page or view a proposed concept plan for the new aquatic facility.

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