Council is planning to develop a Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre at Mackay Park, Batemans Bay. This exciting project will, if we are successful in receiving grant funds from the NSW and Australian Governments, deliver a range of modern facilities for the Batemans Bay and Eurobodalla communities.
In August 2017 Council endorsed a concept plan (see below for details) and has now commenced the detailed design stage. In collaboration with the Mackay Park Sunset Committee, Council has developed a set of design principles to guide the detailed design process. The design principles address a range of matters, including the following:
- high quality visual presentation to public spaces
- equal prominence of aquatic and arts components
- safe and comfortable spaces for people to meet
- access for people of all abilities
- flexible arrangement of rooms for multi-purpose use
- opportunity for staged construction and potential expansion in the future
- management of acoustic and odour issues
- use of technologies
We will soon be seeking proposals from architecture firms to prepare a detailed design for the new centre. Consultants will need to demonstrate how they can meet these design principles and Council will select the consultant that best demonstrates how they can design a facility that addresses these principles. The consultant selected by Council will then need to prepare a number of design options for consideration by Council, the Sunset Committee and the broader community.
We will keep the community informed of progress throughout the detailed design phase. When the design consultant has prepared a number of options for consideration, they will be put out for community consultation. All interested members of the community will be able to comment on the design options to identify what elements they like and what elements could be improved.
Concept Plan and Business Case
On 29 August 2017, Council held an Extraordinary Meeting to consider a draft business case and concept plans for 2 options for redevelopment of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct for a Regional Aquatic Centre and Arts and Cultural Facility. Council resolved to endorse option 1, being the development of a Regional Aquatic Centre, Arts & Cultural Facility and gateway Visitor Centre, on the southern part of the precinct for the purpose of seeking grant funding to construct the facility.
The concept plan includes:
A regional aquatic program and leisure centre with facilities for all ages and for locals and visitors!
- 25m by 8 lane indoor heated pool
- 17m by 10m warm water program pool for a wide range of aqua therapy and fitness classes, with spa and access ramps
- Toddlers and leisure pool with suitable depth for learn to swim classes
- A water play splash pad with interactive water features
- Tower and waterslides
- Gymnasium, fitness program rooms and wellness area
Purpose-built arts, cultural and community facilities
- Main auditorium with retractable seating for 500 people that can be used for exhibitions, rehearsals and performances
- Wet and dry arts workspaces
- Soundproofed rehearsal/dance studio
- Music/recording studio
- Large and small meeting rooms
- Kitchen and storage facilities
Tourism, food and retail
- Shared front entrance and foyer
- Gateway Visitor Centre
- Café and retail space
- Gallery and theatrette
- Project Details
- Draft business case
- Draft concept plan - option 1
- Draft concept plan - option 2
- Council report - 29 August 2017
- Council minutes - 29 August 2017
Aquatic and Arts Strategy
To inform the concept plan and business case, and to better understand the potential redevelopment of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct within the broader context of Eurobodalla Shire, the consultancy has:
- reviewed and updated the 2005 Swimming Pools Strategic Review, resulting in the development of the Draft Eurobodalla Shire Council Aquatic Strategy (Otium Planning Group - 15 February 2017)
- prepared an assessment of preferred arts and cultural facilities within the precinct, resulting in the development of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct Assessment of Preferred Arts and Cultural Facilities (Otium Planning Group - February 2017).
Why no 50 metre pool?
To ensure the aquatic centre can provide a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of our community and to support Batemans Bay as a tourist destination, the focus of the new centre will be for leisure activities and programs such as hydrotherapy and learn to swim. Also, to ensure the new facility is financially affordable, a 50m pool is not proposed. A 50m indoor pool would cost the community approximately $6 million dollars more to build and up to $300,000 per year more to operate. The proposed 25m pool will still adequately cater for the training needs of swim club members and lap swimmers and can hold short-course competitions. Notwithstanding, the more detailed planning for the Mackay Park precinct will consider the potential expansion of the new facilities in the future, including the options of increasing the 25m pool from 8 lanes to 10 and/or the potential opportunity to include a 50 m pool on the site in the future.