September, 2023 Update
- A project to re-build the Octagonal Toddler’s Pool at the heritage-listed Maryborough Outdoor Pool began on Friday 8 September, 2023.
- The $1.3 million project is funded by a Victorian Government heritage grant
- The project is expected to take around 10 months to complete and involves the construction of an entirely new pool shell, recovery of as many of the original tiles as possible and repairs to the concourse.
- Council has worked closely with Heritage Victoria to ensure the significance of the complex is maintained.
- As part of this we have worked with heritage conservators to research the best method to reclaim the existing tiles of the octagonal pool which involved researchers at Melbourne University to undertake specialised experiments with sections of the tiles.
- A conservator will work with the project team to oversee the reclamation of the historic tiles with the aim to conserve as many tiles as possible. The reclaimed tiles will be suitably displayed to recognise their historical significance.
- The tiles in the rebuild of the octagonal pool have been chosen to be in-keeping with the original design.
- It’s the first step in a bigger plan to restore the whole complex once sufficient funding is secured.
July, 2023 Update
Council to apply for funding for Maryborough Outdoor Pool
At the July Council Meeting (25/07) Council endorsed an expression of interest application to the Federal Government’s Growing Regions Program – Round One (GRP1) for the Maryborough Olympic Pool Complex Project.
Of the $8 million needed to complete the project, Council will apply for $4 million in funding via the grant. If successful, the remaining $4 million would be raised by Council.
The complex holds large recreational and historical significance to the Central Goldfields community, as well as at a State and national level, and Council believes the much-needed restoration meets the GRP1 guidelines.
Central Goldfields Shire Council Mayor Cr Grace La Vella said the project was chosen after much consideration and was based on the project being at ‘shovel ready’ stage which was a requirement of the grant stream.
“Last year, the Maryborough Outdoor Pool was deemed at ‘end of life stage’ meaning it is unsafe to re-open until the pool is demolished and rebuilt.
“Building a new pool comes at a significant cost and we feel this funding stream is our best chance of securing the funding we need to see this valued community asset reopened to community use.
“We are committed to seeing all the projects identified in our Priority Projects Plan delivered – we assure our community that we will continue to work hard behind the scenes to advocate to secure the funding for these projects.”
GRP1 will be delivered through a two-stage selection process. Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest at Stage 1 and, if successful, will be invited to submit a full application at Stage 2 in November this year.
It is expected that the outcome of applications will be announced in early 2024, with funded projects needing to commence by 15 May 2024.
June, 2023 Update
Council remains committed to seeing the heritage-listed Maryborough Outdoor Pool complex re-opened for community use, with a tender to upgrade the octagonal pool awarded at this week’s Council Meeting.
Council awarded a $1,376,510 contract to SJ Weir Ballarat Pty Ltd to see an entirely new pool shell constructed, recovery of as many of the original tiles as possible and repairs to the concourse. Council will use Victorian Government funding – announced in 2020 to deliver the project.
Council has worked closely with Heritage Victoria to ensure the significance of the complex is maintained - with the Heritage Victoria permit already in place and ready for works to start.
Council continues to work behind the scenes to plan and advocate for the money needed to restore the entire precinct so that it can be re-opened for the community to enjoy.
In July last year, Council endorsed a report on the future of the heritage-listed Maryborough 50 metre pool after it was identified that the condition of the pool had declined since the previous assessment in April 2021. It was determined that the pool had reached the ‘end of life’ stage meaning it is not safe to re-open until the pool is demolished and rebuilt.
Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Ward Councillor Geoff Lovett said Council was committed to doing everything it can to see the Maryborough Outdoor Pool rebuilt and re-opened as soon as possible for the community to enjoy.
“Whilst it is of course fantastic that we are able to now push ahead with the octagonal pool rebuild, we realise our community will be disappointed and will still be focused on when this much-loved community facility will re-open.
“Unfortunately, the re-opening of the outdoor pool is not going to happen overnight, but rest assured that the project remains one of our priority projects, and we are doing everything we can behind the scenes to make this happen as soon as possible.
“Behind the scenes we continue to advocate tirelessly to State and Federal governments for the multi-million dollars needed to rebuild this heritage listed, recreation and sporting icon. We’ll be submitting an expression of interest for the funding we need for this to happen through the Federal Government’s Growing Regions Fund which opens in July, as well as advocating for any funding that might be available through the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
“We’re also busy doing all the planning we need to do now so that when these funding streams do open, we have a shovel ready project that is ready to go.
“The octagonal pool project is the first step towards this. We’ll also shortly appoint a heritage architect to scope the pavilion project and a separate tender will also be advertised shortly for priority repairs to conserve the main entrance building.
“This all contributes to us being another step closer to seeing our beloved outdoor pool re-developed for future generations to enjoy.”
Council has worked closely with heritage conservators to research the best method to reclaim the existing tiles of the octagonal pool which involved researchers at Melbourne University to undertake specialised experiments with sections of the tiles.
A conservator will work with the project team to oversee the reclamation of the historic tiles with the aim to conserve as many tiles as possible. The reclaimed tiles will be suitably displayed to recognise their historical significance.
The tiles in the rebuild of the octagonal pool have been chosen to be in-keeping with the original design.
July, 2022 Update
A report on the future of the heritage-listed Maryborough 50 metre pool was endorsed by Council at the July, 2022 Council Meeting.
Council will continue to advocate to State and Federal Governments for funding to rebuild the Maryborough 50 metre outdoor pool, with the pool to close until funding can be secured.
The decision comes after a further assessment of the pool identified the condition of the pool has declined since the previous assessment in April 2021 with the pool having reached the ‘end of life’ stage and cannot be re-opened until the pool is demolished and rebuilt.
Using the $2 million in Victorian Government funding announced in 2020 on the 50 metre pool would be a short-term patch job and would not address the increasingly declining integrity of the pool shell.
Council will work with Heritage Victoria to use the $2 million in funding to upgrade the octagonal pool, the plant room and the main entrance building – which will contribute to preserving this significant heritage complex.
Council will continue to work with Heritage Victoria to ensure the heritage significance of the complex is maintained.
Council is working with Unified Community Sport and Leisure to create opportunities for local residents to access alternative pool facilities during the upcoming summer season. Free entry at the Dunolly and Talbot outdoor pools will be offered with extended opening hours and free entry vouchers for young people (through the FReeZA and Engage program) will be offered at the Maryborough Sports and Leisure Centre.
Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Ward Councillor Geoff Lovett said it was a considered and difficult decision for Council to have to make.
“We understand that the closure will cause inconvenience and disappointment to our local community. We know the facility is much loved by our local residents and the wider community.
“The reality is that the pool is more than 80 years old. We can’t justify having $2 million spent on the pool that would just be a patch job. Essentially, we’d be back in this position in a few years’ time when the integrity of the pool would have diminished further.
“The Council Report provided us with three construction options – patch works only; repair pool base and membrane; and demolish and rebuild. Demolish and rebuild is our best option with the best return on investment. It will provide our community with a safe, ‘fit for purpose’ 50 metre pool for future generations to enjoy.
“To help ensure our community can still access aquatic facilities during the upcoming 2022/23 summer season, we are pleased to be able to offer free entry at both the Dunolly and Talbot outdoor pools as well as extended opening hours and free vouchers for young people (through the Freeza and Engage program) to be offered at the Maryborough Sports and Leisure Centre.
“We will also work closely with the schools, the Maryborough Swimming Club and the Maryborough District Triathlon Club to support them to deliver their school carnivals and events at alternative facilities.
“We’ll continue to advocate tirelessly to State and Federal governments for the $6 million we need to rebuild this heritage listed, recreation and sporting icon so as to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations.”