Construction is underway to update and expand Willoughby Leisure Centre in New South Wales, as the complex’s water pump and filtration system has reached the end of its useful life.

Willoughby Council selected Belmadar to undertake the works, following a robust procurement process.

Belmadar is a Naremburn-based construction company with extensive experience building community and public social infrastructure projects.

Willoughby Mayor, Tanya Taylor, said the centre’s redevelopment was a once-in-a-generation project that would deliver three new pools, an upgraded multi-sport court hall, enhanced communal areas and improved accessibility and sustainability outcomes.

“After working with the community and stakeholders over several years to plan and design this project, it is terrific to see work underway,” Ms Taylor said.

“By mid-2024, Willoughby will have a best in breed new leisure centre which will provide enhanced community facilities for a range of sports, including swimming, netball, basketball, volleyball and badminton.

“’It will also make the centre more accessible for key user groups, including women and young families, and users with mobility restrictions.”

The upgrade has been supported by a $5 million grant from the New South Wales Government’s Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund, with all other funding coming from Council, including from developer contributions.

Upcoming works that Belmadar will be undertaking include site set up and commencement of strip out and demolition of the Eastern Pool Hall.

A construction site compound has now been established around the centre. The first step in the centre’s renewal will involve the demolition of the pool hall roof, followed by demolition of the pool hall itself. The new pool hall, entrance, expanded creche and upgraded sports hall courts will then be progressively built.

The centre’s gym, including group fitness classes, and the school holiday program, will remain open across the entire construction phase.

Ms Taylor said it was not possible to keep the 32-year-old pool open past November 2022, or to commence the reconstruction project after summer, given the complex’s water pump and filtration system had reached the end of its useful life.

The Willoughby Leisure Centre upgrade will deliver:

  • A new eight-lane 25m pool, providing optimal depths and temperatures for lap swimmers
  • A new four-lane 20m learn to swim pool, with optimal temperature and depth
  • A new and dedicated warm water four-lane 20m program pool, which will be used for rehabilitation, therapy and fitness classes
  • A new spa and sauna adjoining the pool deck
  • A new family change room
  • An improved water filtration system, to reduce water wastage and energy use and mitigate contamination issues
  • A new pool hall roof
  • New accessibility features for all pools to support people with mobility restrictions
  • Replacement wooden court flooring
  • A new insulated roof and external wall cladding for the sports hall, delivering a more comfortable temperature and playing environment for athletes
  • A refurbished entry area, which will allow the centre to process around 30 per cent more users at peak times
  • New sustainability features, including solar photo-voltaic systems and rainwater harvesting, delivering a 5 Star (Australian Excellence) Green Star rating
  • Planting of 72 locally endemic trees, to replace the 24 trees which have been required to be removed to allow the expansion to take place
  • A new crèche outdoor area, allowing it to cater for around 75 per cent more children, allowing more young families to use the centre
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