The City of Sydney’s Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Center, which originally budgeted $ 50 million when the project was approved in 2015, will have cost $ 106 million when it opens next month.
The highly delayed facility opens on 1 February and has seen its costs steadily rise since the first approval by Sydney City Council.
Since builders CPB Contractors entered into a $ 84 million contract to build the facility in January 2018, costs associated with the project and the Corona delay have risen sharply.
Continuing the recent history of the City of Sydney with ambitious aquatic plant designs, the facility was designed by the team of Andrew Burges, Grimshaw and TCL after Burges won an architectural competition in the City of Sydney in 2014.
The complex has a 50-meter heated outdoor pool set within a larger, asymmetrically shaped pool inspired by sea basins and Sydney’s beaches. It also includes a 25-meter indoor pool with movable floor, children’s salmon area, indoor hydrotherapy pool, gym and nursery along with an adjoining artificial turf pitch and outdoor seating.
The first aquatic center in Australia to have a Green Star rating, the center will implement a range of water, energy and waste initiatives to ensure its sustainability.
• A solar cell system on the roof and cogeneration system for the production of electricity for the operation of the complex
• Energy efficient lighting and water efficient equipment
• A system for harvesting rainwater
• Building materials that reduce the dependence on artificial lighting
• A design that responds to the local climate and negates any need for excessive heating and cooling systems
• Water-sensitive landscape design
A spokesman for a Sydney city council advised “many factors, including the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, delayed the implementation of the project.”
When Belgravia Leisure had started its contract to operate the facility in late September, before Christmas Sydney Morning Herald reported that the city will have paid more than $ 1 million to the contractor before opening.
With the article, Sydney Mayor Clover Moore said the Council unanimously approved the terms of the center’s operating contract in 2019, which included a prior opening period for the operator to hire and train staff, purchase and install equipment and ensure the facility was safe and ready for the public.
Council officials said almost half of the expected budget before the planned opening on 1 February related to staff costs, which involved recruiting and training 149 people.
The rest included marketing, chemicals, equipment procurement, plant and equipment maintenance, insurance, IT equipment and licenses, and a facility in advance.
In the wake of the delays, a spokesman for the City of Sydney advised “many factors, including the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, delayed the implementation of the project.”
As the population in nearby suburbs increases rapidly, about 470,000 visits to the center are expected in the first year and increase to 680,000 in the third year.
The green square, which spans the suburbs of Beaconsfield and Zetland, and parts of Rosebery, Alexandria and Waterloo, is set to become the most densely populated part of Australia by 2030.
Click here for more information about the project.
Photos: The almost complete Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Center (top), its indoor 25 meters and movable floor (in the middle) and the facility’s signage and artificial turf football pitch (below).
The article was modified 06.00, 11 January 2021.
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