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Sydney’s Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre on target for end of year completion

Construction work on the City of Sydney’s new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre is moving towards completion by the end of the year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic had caused some delays to works, the Council is anticipating that the facility, will be the biggest aquatic complex built in NSW since before the 2000 Olympic Games, will  open by the end of the year.

Designed by Andrew Burges Architecture - alongside global design practice Grimshaw and landscape architects TCL - the complex will offer a 50 metre heated outdoor pool set within a larger, irregular shaped 'beach pool', a 25 metre heated indoor pool, an indoor leisure pool and a heated hydrotherapy pool.

Other facilities will include a large health and fitness club with gym floor, group exercise studios and a covered outdoor yoga deck.

The facility will also offer an adjacent outdoor gym, a playground and picnic facilities, a fitness training circuit and a 4,950 metre² multipurpose sports field.

Commenting on the progress of the facility, a City of Sydney spokesperson "while we are waiting on the delivery of items needed to complete the indoor pool area, work continues on the multipurpose sports field and the centre’s internal finishings.

"We have been undertaking some quiet tiling and finishing work at night to ensure we better enact social distancing measures on site and finish this much awaited community facility soon. We expect completion will now be late 2020."

The team of Andrew Burges, Grimshaw and TCL won an architectural competition to design the project in 2014, which saw 144 architects submit proposals for the centre.

July 2020 tour of the Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre site.

Commenting on what the facility will offer, Andrew Burges recently stated “this is a place for all people to enjoy the centre in different ways - even if it’s simply reading the paper in the sun and enjoying the occasional dip.”

A spokesperson for the project team said that the project will also have a focus on sustainability, adding “we have designed an innovative energy co-generation system to heat and power the centre.

"It will give us flexibility in managing energy consumption and help us reduce our carbon footprint. It will also make the centre significantly cheaper to run every year.

"A large array of solar panels on the roof of the centre will connect to the City’s local electricity network in the Green Infrastructure Centre in Joynton Avenue.

"This means surplus electricity will be used to power buildings in the neighbouring community and cultural precinct."

However, the facility’s innovative design concept, frequently described as being “inspired by Sydney’s ocean beaches” has been among factors that have led to costs rising from the City of Sydney’s 2015 estimate that it would cost $50 million.

With construction company CPB Contractors signing, in January 2018, an $84 million contract to build the facility, costs associated with the project and the Coronavirus delay are understood to now be in excess of $90 million.

Article by Nigel Benton, Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

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