ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

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ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#1 Post by crawf » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:21 am

I think this will be the first time I have ever agreed with Anne Moran

Council threat to close aquatic centre
Article from: The Advertiser


January 15, 2009 12:30am

ADELAIDE Aquatic Centre is facing a long closure at the end of summer because the city council is growing reluctant to pour money into the "decaying" facility.

Councillor Anne Moran is leading a push to either upgrade the centre to international standards or turn it into a recreational facility, unsuitable for elite swimmers.

Ms Moran this month will ask council to force the State Government's hand into taking responsibility for the ageing centre.

Yesterday, she said city ratepayers would continue to lose $500,000 every year unless $20 million of State Government money were spent to upgrade the centre to international standards.

The only alternative was to shut the doors at the end of summer and reopen after a $6 million winter facelift, sufficient only to meet recreational standards, she said.

Ms Moran said fellow councillors were "100 per cent" behind her motion and ready to send an

"aggressive message that enough is enough".

"The council can't continue to carry that bill any more," Ms Moran told The Advertiser yesterday.

"Every dollar we spend on that centre is another dollar we can't spend in the city putting up a new light or doing other developments.

"The roof needs urgent replacement, all the tiles are cracked and, reading the engineers' reports, there is a catastrophe around the corner unless an upgrade is carried out."

A child was injured in 2007 after a gust of wind smashed a pane of glass. About $1 million was spent on retiling in 2004 after claims children were hurt by broken tiles.

The council has budgeted to lose $82,000 on the centre this year after a State Government subsidy of $246,000, and will accept a further subsidy of $250,000 this year.

If successful at the January 26 council meeting, Ms Moran's motion would give the Government three options:

ABANDON the planned State Aquatic Centre at Marion and instead spend $20 million upgrading Adelaide Aquatic Centre to international


TAKE over the management of the Adelaide centre until the Marion complex is completed, and then return control to Adelaide City Council.

ACCEPT the council will close the pool at the end of summer for a $6 million upgrade to convert it into a recreational pool.

If the Government refuses to act, some of the state's most successful swimmers including Paralympian Matthew Cowdrey and Beijing Olympian Hayden Stoeckel will be effectively homeless until the Marion centre is built.

Lord Mayor Michael Harbison said annual losses of $500,000 were overstated, but acknowledged the pool was in urgent need of an upgrade.

"If the State Government wishes to turn its focus to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre instead of the centre at Marion, I'm sure the council would be happy to consider that," he said.

Mr Harbison said the centre would run at a significantly bigger loss without the annual state subsidy.

The future of elite swimming's only alternative, the proposed State Aquatic Centre at Marion, was called into question last week when pool operator Macquarie Leisure pulled out of the project, leaving financier Macquarie Investments and Adelaide-based builder Candetti Constructions without a manager.

While construction can still begin, the consortium is likely to operate under financial constraints that require an operator to be locked into the project.

A spokeswoman for Premier Mike Rann yesterday said the Government would not comment on the motion until a formal approach was made.

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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#2 Post by monotonehell » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:43 pm

crawf wrote:I think this will be the first time I have ever agreed with Anne Moran...
Are you sick? ;)

I saw that in today's paper and wondered where the motivation was coming from. Seems to align with what some of us have been saying for a while here.
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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#3 Post by Strangled Cat » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:47 am

I may be missing something here but why didn't the state government just decide from the beginning to upgrade the Adelaide Aquatic Centre? Wouldn't it have been more logical than Marion as It would have alreayd been half way there with an already olympic length pool and most other facilities? I havn't been to the Marion swimming centre but from what I've heard they would basically have to build it up from scracth for it to meet the standards. A lot more work, time and money than just upgrading the AAC.

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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#4 Post by stumpjumper » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:38 am

I'd like to see the figures for the Aquatic Centre, as I've never been able to understand the numbers that Anne Moran gives when she's interviewed.

I drive past the AC regularly, in the early morning, during the day and late at night.

I've actually detoured into the carpark and have counted the cars there on numerous occasions and I'm happy to report an average of about 110 cars in the carpark at any one time between 6am to 9pm most days. This figure ignores the 30 or so cars often parked on Park Tce to the north and it ignores school and other buses. The carpark is not used for 'park and ride' or any other purpose than parking for AC patrons.

So, say 100 cars, each with one occupant, average stay 2 hours, 7 turnovers per day, $5 per visit.

That's $3,500 per day, which must be a conservative estimate.

Moran says the place loses $500,000 per year. (2 years agoo she said it lost $180,000 per year).

$500,000 per year is about $1400 per day.

It gets a subsidy of $250,000 per year, Moran says. That's another $700 per day.

So adding the $3,500 per day imputed income (which fails to cover costs) to the subsidy of $700 per day and the remaining $1400 per day loss Moran claims, she is saying that the AC costs at least $5,600 per day to operate.

I would like to know why it costs so much. I am familiar with the operating costs for the Port Lincoln indoor pool complex, and they are nothing like as high.

I would be very interested in seeing a breakdown - cleaning, chemicals, heating, staff etc. Does the council manage the pool? Is it managed by a contractor? Are there any internal rents paid? Are there heavy depreciations?

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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#5 Post by Wayno » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:05 pm

Reusing this existing thread for an aquatic centre related article:

From the City Messenger:
Torrens aquatic centre plan stirs troubled waters

A PROPOSAL to move the Adelaide Aquatic Centre to the banks of the Torrens has been ruled out by the city council even though it supports the idea.

In a confidential briefing last week, a consultant told councillors the best position for the ageing North Adelaide centre was at the railyards, next to the State Government’s planned new hospital. The City Messenger understands that most elected members supported exploring the move, but could not afford it without government funds unlikely given the government is building the State Aquatic Centre in Marion.

The council is now faced with the tricky decision with what to do with a centre which desperately needs a new roof and will likely lose revenue once the $100 million Marion pool opens at the end of 2010.

The other options presented to the briefing included upgrading the existing centre or shutting it down.

A council insider said the idea of a centre on the River Torrens was a favourite because it would be accessible for city workers and residents, and could double as a rehabilitation centre if the RAH was rebuilt on the site.

“All the action’s going to be happening down that end of the city,” the source said.

“If we had the Aquatic Centre in the middle of town we could tap into that huge number of workers who would love to have a swim at lunch.”

But the move would be “beyond the finances of the council” and it was unlikely the government would help fund another state swimming hub.

“The argument for us to become the state’s leading centre is well and truly over,” the source said.

“We have to fix up what we’ve got now but looking into the future, the pool should move.”

They said the council would likely turn the centre into a leisure pool and remove all its training equipment such as the diving board.

Acting Lord Mayor Michael Henningsen confirmed the council had discussed moving the Aquatic Centre to the Riverbank precinct.

“I think, looking at all our options, it would probably, probably be best to stay where we are,” he said.

In the meantime, the roof is meant to be replaced next month but the council has not yet decided between two options, one which costs about $2.75 million and the other about $3.9 million.

The roof is now being protected by a net to catch cracked shingles if they fall.
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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#6 Post by Nort » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:29 pm

On the railyards next to the hospital would be a perfect site. The current position of the aquatic center is terrible as you have all the negatives of needing to drive into the city to get to it, with it being far enough out of the city center that it doesn't have any of the positives. A railyards swimming center would be accessible to lunchtime workers, on top of the train station and tram lines, and also be available for rehabilitation uses for the hospital.

With the amount being spent on the Marion site it will never happen, but if the money is ever found it is something I would love to see.

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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#7 Post by iTouch » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:24 am

at first when i saw that article about relocating it to the torrens, i thought, you'd have to shoot me before i'd swim in any of that "so-called" water. But relocating it to the railyards seems like a smarter idea :wink:
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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#8 Post by Omicron » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:00 pm

There's about as much chance of the State Government approving funds for that as I have of breaking fourteen minutes for the 1500m freestyle. Perhaps if it came about, oh, say, five years ago? Ten? Boat slightly missed, you'd think.

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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#9 Post by pushbutton » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:18 pm

These "railyards" the government keeps going on about must be MASSIVE!

So far I've heard proposals in recent years for a big new hospital, football stadium, casino, and now aquatic centre to be built on the railyards.

Well frankly I don't see what's so special about the railyards but I highly doubt there's room for all these things, besides which most of these facilities (with the possible exception of the casino) are already located on better sites as it is and I can see no reason to move them!

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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#10 Post by SRW » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:52 am

Aquatic Centre to go a few more laps
James Hancock, ABC News Online, 9 April 2010.

After four decades as South Australia's home of elite and leisure swimming, the Adelaide Aquatic Centre is poised for a makeover.

The City Council has voted to upgrade the centre on the northern edge of the parklands at North Adelaide.

It had toyed with the idea of building a new facility in the CBD instead.

But having opted for renovations, an initial allocation of $2.5 million has been made to replace the centre's leaking roof.

Swimmers might not mind getting wet, but not when the water comes from above.

Council CEO Peter Smith says the search is on for a contractor to do the work.

"That price may go up or down," he conceded. "If it goes up we'd have to look at our budget in terms of additional funding that we could make available to it."

The Aquatic Centre may close in July for up to 12 weeks for work to be done.

Mr Smith says it is one of the quieter times for the swimming facility.

"We have looked at a number of options including keeping the centre partly open but in terms of first priority being public safety and our patrons' safety, I think the safest option is mostly likely to be closing the centre partly or fully during the construction," he said.

After the roof is done, further upgrading work might take three to five years and is yet to be funded.

Council documents show visitor numbers for the year are down.

In February, despite the summer heat, the number of casual swimmers was down by 1,811 on the same month of the year before.

The swimming centre is under budget by about $97,000 for the financial year.

Marion move

Construction has started in Adelaide's south on a new state swimming centre near Marion shopping centre.

The $100 million project will give elite swimmers a new place to train.

It is due to open in the second half of the year.

General manager of Swimming SA Craig Hobart says it started lobbying the South Australian Government back in late 1990s to either renovate the Adelaide Aquatic Centre to international standard or build a new centre.

"We're still seeing the bleed of athletes out of the state now ... just because of the fact we don't have a swimming pool that has been able to maintain and attract swimmers to South Australia," he said.

"[On] the designs that I've seen it does rival and will be the best aquatic centre in Australia, rivalling the Sydney Olympic Centre."

North Adelaide's Aquatic Centre opened in 1969.

Before that swimmers flocked to the city baths in King William Road, now the site of the Festival Theatre.

Mr Hobart says about 800,000 people visited the North Adelaide facility last year.
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Re: ACC threat to close Adelaide Aquatic Centre

#11 Post by Wayno » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:21 am

Makeover is complete:
ADELAIDE swimmers now have the best of both worlds and can choose from two major aquatic centres.

The renovated Adelaide Aquatic Centre opened its doors yesterday, unveiling a light, bright and airy space.

The $6 million upgrade features a multi-coloured glass roof and a fitness centre, including $250,000 of gym equipment.

The pools have been drained, re-tiled in parts and refilled.

The Redbacks were among the first through the doors, using the facility for their recovery session yesterday following their Ryobi Cup clash on Sunday night.

"It's great for us to be able to use the Aquatic Centre again," said Redbacks captain Michael Klinger.

"Being so close to Adelaide Oval, it's really convenient to be able to come back and do the rest of our recovery and training."

During the upgrade, which began in March this year, swim schools and squads moved permanently from the North Adelaide facility to the $100 million SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre at Oaklands Park.

Despite this, Swimming SA general manager Craig Hobart said the city swimming facility would still play an integral role in supporting the state's up-and-coming swimmers in the metropolitan area.

"Swimming is more than just standing behind the blocks and diving in ... there is a whole range the sport takes in, that includes learning to swim, sport and recreation," Mr Hobart said.

The 40-year-old centre also has upgraded its Swim School, with more than 1500 children enrolled and a further 500 places still available.

Adelaide City councillor Susan Clearihan said the state would "absolutely" be able to support two swimming centres.

"The elite swimmers have gone to Marion, but there are still lots of local lap swimmers, schools and clubs who will continue to use the centre," she said.

"We're looking to turn the centre into a regional, community, leisure and fitness centre," Ms Clearihan said.

The Adelaide Aquatic Centre wasn't the only swim centre to make the headlines yesterday.

Three people were taken to hospital after a chlorine leak shut down the new Oaklands Park swimming facility.

The victims were affected by fumes coming from a chlorine storage area, reported to have leaked from a faulty flange on a pipe.

The centre reopened at 10.30am.
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