Local Representation Advisory Committee Leichhardt
2 August 2016
Item No: LL0816 Item 3
Subject: LPAC Olympic Pool Starting Blocks
File Ref: 16/6032/77502.16
Prepared By: Bill Meaney - Manager Recreation Facilities, Leichhardt
Authorised By: Cathy Edwards-Davis - Director, Public Works
At the March 2016 meeting, Leichhardt Council resolved (C123/16) to upgrade the LPAC Olympic Pool starting blocks in winter 2016 and to allocate funding in the 2016/2017 budget. Council Officers were to report back on options prior to commencing works.
Opitons were investigated to retrofit the starting blocks; however, none were suitable. The removal and re-installation of seven (7) new starting blocks is the only viable option to meet the appropriate purpose. Works will require closure of the Olympic pool for approximately seven days with a cost approximately $38,000 for the works and associated loss of revenue estimated to be $15,000.
The removal of the existing concrete starting blocks and replacement starting platforms are not recommended this winter and the works are to be considered as part of the LPAC Masterplan process.
THAT the removal of the existing concrete starting blocks and replacement with new Antiwave starting platforms is considered in the early phase of the LPAC Masterplan works.
At the November 2015 meeting (C565/15) Council resolved that officers explore the possibilities for upgrading the starting blocks in the Olympic pool, including upgrade of the Olympic Pool at LPAC and report back to Council. This was completed and a report presented to the March meeting including information on the LPAC masterplan.
A report was submitted to the March 2016 Council meeting and Council resolved (C123/16) to upgrade the starting blocks in winter 2016 and to allocate funding in the 2016/2017 budget. Council officers were asked to report back on options prior to commencing the works.
The Council Officers did seek quotes from contractors experienced with this type of work and the cost to remove and replace the existing seven (7) concrete starting blocks is $37,633.
The Olympic Pool would also need to be closed to patrons for approximately seven (7) days for the works to be completed and the loss of income and disruption is estimated at $15,000. Total cost of works and loss of income estimated to be $52,633.
OTHER STAFF COMMENTS
Council officers consider that there are some major factors which need to be given consideration prior to the closure of the Olympic pool, to conduct the works.
It is considered that the replacement and associated works of the LPAC Olympic Pool Starting blocks is better to planned during any major upgrade to the Olympic pool.
The LPAC Masterplan is outdated, being 10 years since the last consultation and community comment through community engagement. It is not known whether the Masterplan is still relevant to the community needs, considering the recreation needs study, changing demographics in the area and industry changes. Council has funding in 2016/2017 to engage a consultant to review and update the LPAC Masterplan, in consultation with the community.
A report will be submitted to Council in December 2016 to present a revised LPAC Masterplan, following re-engagement with the community, which will provide recommendations for staging of future works and financial implications. This report will likely lead to a recommendation for a complete renovation of the Olympic Pool, including new modern starting platforms.
It is therefore recommended that the removal of the existing concrete starting blocks and replacement with new Antiwave starting platforms is considered in the early phase of the Masterplan works.
Further to the above, there has been no public consultation regarding the replacement of the starting blocks, or the associated closure of the pool. Public complaints are anticipated with any pool closure.
While the contractors have said that structural damage to the pool is not anticipated, this cannot be guaranteed.
The usage of the starting blocks is minimal in the overall use of the Olympic pool, and new modern blocks would benefit the Swim Club and squad swimmers. The Swim Club uses the starting blocks for 3 hours on Saturday mornings in summer only, carnivals use the blocks approximately 5 times per year and LPAC coaching squads use 2-3 lanes in the afternoons and mornings. The use of the starting blocks is estimated at 15% of the total opening hours of the Olympic pool by the three user groups. The starting blocks are isolated during recreation swimming for safety under Safe Pool Operating Guidelines (GSPO).
No public consultation has occurred over replacement or pool closure to complete the works.
That the removal of the existing concrete starting blocks and replacement with new Antiwave starting platforms is considered in the early phase of the LPAC Masterplan works.