Future Directions - From Hornsby Shire Council, NSW
After almost a year of being open, Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre remains a popular asset with the Hornsby Shire community.
Built over two years, the new $27 million facility replaced the former Hornsby Pool, which was unexpectedly closed due to structural concerns.
The original swimming pool on the site had developed concrete cancer and the decision was made in December 2010 that it had to close.
Hornsby Shire Council then undertook to replace it, going through an extensive process to design a new complex that met a series of objectives that benefited the community.
Tenders were called for the Design and Construction Management of the new centre and several basic concept plans were developed.
Public consultation took place, with residents attending a series of sessions and providing their opinion on the features they believed were needed in the new Aquatic Centre.
The Project Control Group also visited more than a dozen pools in NSW and interstate during the early design development stages to better understand which features work best in centres.
Council endeavoured to create an environmentally friendly centre by adopting features such as energy efficient lighting and equipment, a building management system and cogeneration plant.
The facility boasts many features including: a heated eight lane 50m outdoor pool, a heated Learn To Swim program pool, a leisure pool with water features for children, a ‘bubble seat’ and gentle exercise/recreational swimming area, a gymnasium featuring the latest strength and cardio equipment from Precor, an enclosed water slide for children, a fitness room for classes such as pilates and yoga, a kiosk and café, child minding service and undercover parking for 112 cars.
A local Aboriginal artist was commissioned to create artwork for the lift and front of the centre, while the former pool’s rich history was acknowledge with a photo wall.
The facility began welcoming visitors in August 2014 and was officially opened in November 2014 by The Hon.Tony Abbott, MP Prime Minister of Australia.
Significantly, during his address the Prime Minister congratulated the Council and the residents of Hornsby Shire in building the facility without any assistance from either state or federal government.
There was also a free ‘pool party’ event attended by thousands of residents to show off the centre’s facilities to the community.
Since opening the facility’s patronage is over 300,000 and the Learn To Swim School is exceptionally busy, running seven days a week.
Swim + Gym Membership is strong and a range of aqua aerobics classes and fitness classes are offered every day.
As a result of Council’s thorough research and consultation, the Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre is a well-regarded asset for the community that replaced an ailing pool with a vibrant new recreational facility.