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City of Newcastle Takes Next Step Towards Final Stage of Newcastle Ocean Baths Upgrade

City of Newcastle is moving forward with the Newcastle Ocean Baths upgrade, with Council to vote at its meeting next week on appointing the Principal Design Consultant to oversee designs for the pavilion buildings.


The consultant will prepare detailed proposals for the upgrade of the pavilion buildings including the heritage façade, following community input into preliminary options earlier this year.

Executive Manager Project Management Office, Robert Dudgeon said City of Newcastle will continue to engage with the community as planning progresses for the future of this much-loved public facility.

"Appointment of the Principal Design Consultant is an important next step for the project, bringing together feedback from the community and the findings of technical studies to develop more detailed options for the upgraded pavilion buildings," Mr Dudgeon said.

"The intention is to deliver a facility that welcomes all visitors in an accessible and inclusive way, is sensitive to the site's heritage, and resilient to coastal inundation and predicted sea level rise.

"Exploring options for community space at the Baths site is part of CN's vision of providing an equitably distributed, sustainably managed and inclusive network of public places and spaces, as outlined in our draft Social Infrastructure Strategy.

“We will continue to engage with the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group and the wider community throughout this process, as the designs are developed.”

Progress has also continued on construction of the renewed pool and promenade areas, with swimmers set to be back in the water this summer.

Work to restore the iconic bleacher seating is nearly complete, the new shade structure is taking shape, and finishing touches to the pool including painting the pool walls are underway.

Mr Dudgeon said that construction of the wet well area to support the new pumps had been a key focus in recent months, with the new pumps to be installed ahead of testing and commissioning before the pool is re-opened for swimming.

"The new pool deck is nearly complete, and key features such as the Art Deco curved stairs leading from the pool up to the pavilion area, and the restoration of the bleacher seating are also progressing," he said.

"Retaining these heritage features has been a priority, with installation of the wider timber boardwalk and painting the bleachers to return the iconic teal colour to occur in coming weeks.

"We know that the baths are unique and treasured by locals and visitors. A number of methodologies and materials have been tested for restoration of the bleachers, ensuring they remain structurally sound and able to be enjoyed for many more decades to come."

The $9.5 million recovered from the sale of City of Newcastle's Fred Ash building is helping fund the Newcastle Ocean Baths stage one upgrade along with $3 million in funding from the NSW Government’s Public Spaces Legacy Program. The NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program is an investment in high quality public open space and delivers vital infrastructure for communities to love the place they live.


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