Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre Redevelopment Project

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We understand that right now, this is a difficult time for the community. Responding to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains Council’s priority.

Due to restrictions in place to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) is closed to the public until further notice. While this measure may be here for some time, it is temporary – as the situation improves, the facility will reopen.

Until that time arrives, Council remains committed to planning for the future of this valued community asset. This is an important project that will boost the local economy and provide many jobs for local people as well as ensure residents have access to a welcoming and innovative space to exercise and socialise in. We are planning now so that NARC can meet the needs of the growing community for years to come.

The immediate spend on the renewal of NARC is projected to be $3M in the 20/21 draft budget, to continue the design phase of the project.

The $63.5M allocated for the renewal of NARC is spread throughout the life of the multi-year project and does not impact Council’s ability to support the community in response to the pandemic.


What’s happened so far?

The renewal of the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) is part of the Darebin Council Plan 2017–2021, supporting our goal to expand opportunities for participation and social connection through sport, physical activity and other leisure activities.

In late 2017 through to early 2018, Council sought feedback from NARC users and members, local residents, community groups and local schools who use the centre. The feedback received from this consultation contributed to a feasibility study.

The feasibility study and community consultation found that NARC is a highly valued and utilised community asset, however it is not meeting the current needs of the community. While the facility has been upgraded over the years, as it was built in 1968, a new facility needs to be developed to cater for existing and future needs. This brings with it an opportunity to make significant improvements to the functionality and services offered at NARC.

The feasibility study was considered by Council in September 2018, and in June 2019 Council awarded the contract for the design of the new facility to Warren and Mahoney Architects Australia.

Development of the concept designs took place between July 2019 and April 2020. Council was excited to share the proposed plans for the new NARC facility with the community and key stakeholders and seek feedback between April 15 - May 3 2020.

We recently received your feedback on the proposed concept designs for NARC. We are grateful for your feedback which attracted over 400 responses and was overwhelmingly positive in sentiment.

To find out more about the community consultation, please feel free to browse the Northcote Aquatic and Recreational Centre Consultation Summary Report.

This valuable feedback has been reviewed and has informed some changes to the design with detailed drawings now in progress.

A summary of key responses to the feedback captured during this process can be found in the table below:

Item

Feedback

Design Response

Amenities

To ensure change rooms provided for all users’ needs and not only gender-neutral spaces

Gender specific, family, ambulant, additional needs, changing places as well as gender neutral facilities are included in the design.

Toddler Pool

Concern around the outdoor aquatic space for small children and the size of the aquatic play area

The outdoor aquatic play space is designed to include nature-based play spaces with multiple water levels and sensory activities. There will be space to allow adults to connect with each other while watching children play and will be of an area no less than the existing provision level.

Multipurpose Room

Multipurpose space for use by clubs, groups and community

Two multipurpose rooms, one small and one larger room have been integrated into the facility design.

The smaller room will be used as a prayer room, a quiet space and a breastfeeding space.

The larger room will be available for (swimming) clubs, school groups, community groups and birthday parties.

Shade

Shading is needed over the outdoor splash play area

Design include a canopy area, providing shade for the outdoor aquatic activities, lifeguards, swim coaches and public.

Parking / Green Travel

Sufficient bike racks and provision for sustainable transport options

A green travel plan will be developed for the facility

Pool Wall / Boom

Consider pool wall / boom for sports and community usage

The inclusion of a boom is being tested but is likely to be cost prohibitive. Should future investment for NARC be contemplated, a boom might be considered at this time.


You can still view the concept designs for the proposed renewal of NARC (on the right).


What’s happening now?

At the ordinary Council Meeting on Monday 17 August 2020. Council endorsed the procurement approach, which is to be a staged process commencing with seeking expressions of interest from suitable contractors. Advertising for expressions of interest is anticipated to take place in late August 2020. More details on the procurement process can be found in the Council Report.


What’s next:

Detailed designs will be finalised including consideration of traffic impact, landscaping design and environmentally sustainable initiatives which will enable Council to deliver the NARC 6 Star Green Star certified design.

An Expression of Interest seeking suitable contractors will be advertised. This will be followed by an extensive evaluation with construction anticipated to commence in mid-2021.

Further project updates will be provided to the community in late 2020.

We understand that right now, this is a difficult time for the community. Responding to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains Council’s priority.

Due to restrictions in place to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) is closed to the public until further notice. While this measure may be here for some time, it is temporary – as the situation improves, the facility will reopen.

Until that time arrives, Council remains committed to planning for the future of this valued community asset. This is an important project that will boost the local economy and provide many jobs for local people as well as ensure residents have access to a welcoming and innovative space to exercise and socialise in. We are planning now so that NARC can meet the needs of the growing community for years to come.

The immediate spend on the renewal of NARC is projected to be $3M in the 20/21 draft budget, to continue the design phase of the project.

The $63.5M allocated for the renewal of NARC is spread throughout the life of the multi-year project and does not impact Council’s ability to support the community in response to the pandemic.


What’s happened so far?

The renewal of the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) is part of the Darebin Council Plan 2017–2021, supporting our goal to expand opportunities for participation and social connection through sport, physical activity and other leisure activities.

In late 2017 through to early 2018, Council sought feedback from NARC users and members, local residents, community groups and local schools who use the centre. The feedback received from this consultation contributed to a feasibility study.

The feasibility study and community consultation found that NARC is a highly valued and utilised community asset, however it is not meeting the current needs of the community. While the facility has been upgraded over the years, as it was built in 1968, a new facility needs to be developed to cater for existing and future needs. This brings with it an opportunity to make significant improvements to the functionality and services offered at NARC.

The feasibility study was considered by Council in September 2018, and in June 2019 Council awarded the contract for the design of the new facility to Warren and Mahoney Architects Australia.

Development of the concept designs took place between July 2019 and April 2020. Council was excited to share the proposed plans for the new NARC facility with the community and key stakeholders and seek feedback between April 15 - May 3 2020.

We recently received your feedback on the proposed concept designs for NARC. We are grateful for your feedback which attracted over 400 responses and was overwhelmingly positive in sentiment.

To find out more about the community consultation, please feel free to browse the Northcote Aquatic and Recreational Centre Consultation Summary Report.

This valuable feedback has been reviewed and has informed some changes to the design with detailed drawings now in progress.

A summary of key responses to the feedback captured during this process can be found in the table below:

Item

Feedback

Design Response

Amenities

To ensure change rooms provided for all users’ needs and not only gender-neutral spaces

Gender specific, family, ambulant, additional needs, changing places as well as gender neutral facilities are included in the design.

Toddler Pool

Concern around the outdoor aquatic space for small children and the size of the aquatic play area

The outdoor aquatic play space is designed to include nature-based play spaces with multiple water levels and sensory activities. There will be space to allow adults to connect with each other while watching children play and will be of an area no less than the existing provision level.

Multipurpose Room

Multipurpose space for use by clubs, groups and community

Two multipurpose rooms, one small and one larger room have been integrated into the facility design.

The smaller room will be used as a prayer room, a quiet space and a breastfeeding space.

The larger room will be available for (swimming) clubs, school groups, community groups and birthday parties.

Shade

Shading is needed over the outdoor splash play area

Design include a canopy area, providing shade for the outdoor aquatic activities, lifeguards, swim coaches and public.

Parking / Green Travel

Sufficient bike racks and provision for sustainable transport options

A green travel plan will be developed for the facility

Pool Wall / Boom

Consider pool wall / boom for sports and community usage

The inclusion of a boom is being tested but is likely to be cost prohibitive. Should future investment for NARC be contemplated, a boom might be considered at this time.


You can still view the concept designs for the proposed renewal of NARC (on the right).


What’s happening now?

At the ordinary Council Meeting on Monday 17 August 2020. Council endorsed the procurement approach, which is to be a staged process commencing with seeking expressions of interest from suitable contractors. Advertising for expressions of interest is anticipated to take place in late August 2020. More details on the procurement process can be found in the Council Report.


What’s next:

Detailed designs will be finalised including consideration of traffic impact, landscaping design and environmentally sustainable initiatives which will enable Council to deliver the NARC 6 Star Green Star certified design.

An Expression of Interest seeking suitable contractors will be advertised. This will be followed by an extensive evaluation with construction anticipated to commence in mid-2021.

Further project updates will be provided to the community in late 2020.

  • Detailed designs are being finalised.

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    25 Aug 2020

    After collecting your feedback, detailed designs are being finalised including consideration of traffic impact, landscaping design and environmentally sustainable initiatives which will enable Council to deliver the NARC 6 Star Green Star certified design.


    Further project updates will be provided to the community in late 2020.

  • We have collected your feedback!

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    06 May 2020

    Thanks to everyone who got involved and provided us feedback. We heard from the community through our online survey link, mail, emails, phone calls and virtual meetings.

    We have now collated the feedback and reported the key themes back to the community, as well as advised the Design Team which will help to inform future design developments for the new facility.

  • Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre - Feasibility Study

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    08 Apr 2020

    In late 2017 through to early 2018, Council sought feedback from NARC users and members, local residents, community groups and local schools who use the centre. The feedback received from this consultation contributed to a feasibility study.

    The feasibility study and community consultation found that NARC is a highly valued and utilised community asset, however it is not meeting the current needs of the community. While the facility has been upgraded over the years, as it was built in 1968, a new facility needs to be developed to cater for existing and future needs. This brings with it an opportunity to make significant improvements to the functionality and services offered at NARC.

    The feasibility study was considered by Council in September 2018, and in June 2019 Council awarded the contract for the design of the new facility to Warren and Mahoney Architects Australia.

    What’s next?

    As the project progresses, we look forward to providing updates for a community focused, welcoming and innovative NARC facility.