Baysie to wave $10m goodbye

MORE than $10 million is needed to refurbish Bayswater Waves as yet another council grapples over an expensive aquatic centre.

“Urgent roof repairs” are needed, the gantry lighting system’s busted, the pools needs refurbing, and the chlorine gas storage area doesn’t comply with new Australian standards and must be fixed by June 2021. 

At the next council meeting on January 27 Bayswater councillors will vote over whether to tackle all the works at once (closing all indoor pools for about 18 months), rotate closures and repairs over two to three years, or just creep along over seven years. 

The first two options need serious outside funding, as the council only has $1.6m budgeted for Waves works this year.

A staff report recommends the two-to-three year option so at least one big indoor pool can stay open, otherwise swimmers will cancel memberships and casual staff will have to be stood down. 

The report also advised against the slow option, as smaller repair works carried out over the past couple of years has led to frustration. 

The works will “somewhat” future proof the facility and keep it humming for 25 years or so. Most of the facilities date back to 1998 but some pools were opened in the 1970s.

Vincent council’s also been pondering what to do about its own blue elephant, Beatty Park Leisure Centre, which needs at least $7.5m in works ‚Äì and more if the council wants to bring the historic 1964 Commonwealth Games-era grandstand up to code and reopen it to the public.

From January 27 Beatty’s indoor area will be closed for about five months for retiling, a new water filter system, and new accessible changerooms. The outdoor heated pools will stay open but space is expected to be limited given the swim schools will have to move out there.

Stirling owns the Stirling Leisure Centre and the Terry Tyzack Aquatic Centre, which are getting about $10m works between them over the next three years. Tyzack’s upgrades are first, starting with a major refurbishment of outdoor pools this year. 

by DAVID BELL

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