Australian-first aquatic health and wellbeing hub on track

St Albans Leisure Centre Replacement

Council’s exciting and ambitious project - to replace the St Albans Leisure Centre (90 Taylors Road, St Albans) is on track.

At the 23 June Council Meeting, following a stringent and competitive tender process, Council awarded a $55.1 million contract to demolish the tired, old St Albans Leisure Centre and build a state-of-the-art health and wellbeing hub boasting a 50 metre 10 lane swimming pool, two massive water slides, wellness centre, community program room and more.

Construction is set to start in mid-2020 to create a vibrant, welcoming and innovative multi-generational health and wellbeing hub - the centrepiece of which will be a state-of-the-art aquatic and leisure centre.

The St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub is strategically placed to become a ‘COVID-19 Support and Recovery Centre for Melbourne’s West’. Read more.

We want it to deliver measurable social and health outcomes for Brimbank.

Project Aims

  • A brand new, custom-built leisure and aquatic facility, of which you can be proud. A place to exercise, be healthy, and have fun.
  • Ensuring St Albans Leisure Centre delivers significant, measurable social and health benefits for Brimbank. Having co-located services will help this; and
  • Building a strong community collaboration using “collective impact” principles: different groups working towards the one goal for lasting change.

Leisure and Aquatic components 

The new aquatic and leisure centre will have:

  • Two water slides
  • A 50m, ten lane competition pool with access ramp
  • Leisure water/Learn to Swim Program Pool
  • Warm Water Program Pool with adjoining spas
  • Water play unit and splash pad
  • Sauna and steam room
  • A large gym with 24-hour access
  • Group fitness studios
  • Meeting and function rooms
  • A wellness centre
  • Community program room

Other features will include a café, multiple wet and dry change rooms, including family change, and a crèche.

Design Consultant appointed

In December 2018, we awarded the contract for the design of the health and wellbeing hub to Williams Ross Architects.

Design principles and Site Masterplan finalised

A set of Design Principles to inform the various stages of the design process for the Health and Wellbeing Hub have been developed.

In line with the Design Principles, a Site Masterplan has been developed to ensure the project considers opportunities for future development and future aspirations for the site.

Schematic designs released

In September 2019, schematic designs for the health and wellbeing hub were endorsed by Council.

The schematic designs – part of the early design phase – will be used to provide the basis for further investigation and detail development of the project.

Detailed design complete

In February 2020, the detailed Design Development Report for the health and wellbeing hub was endorsed by Council. This marked a key milestone in the project – completion of the design phase.

Co-location Tenancy

Development of the St Albans Leisure Centre Replacement – Health and Wellbeing Hub, provides an opportunity for Council to combine social and health outcomes with infrastructure development. We'll achieve this through the co-location of community organisations in the Hub, to enable delivery of integrated services.

Following a decision at the December 2018 Ordinary Council Meeting, we will offer Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and Comm Unity Plus Services Ltd, tenancy agreements to allow them to co-locate at the hub and work with Council to improve social and health outcomes for the community.

Construction Contract Awarded

Following a stringent and extremely competitive tender process, Council resolved at the Tuesday 23 June Ordinary Council Meeting to award a $55.1 million contract to demolish the tired, old St Albans Leisure Centre and build a state-of-the-art health and wellbeing hub.

Finding a name for the new hub

An overwhelming number of naming suggestions were received through a community campaign in August 2020 that asked for possible names for the new facility.

A Facility Naming Advisory Committee that included community representatives and a representative of the Traditional Owners shortlisted some names for Council consideration.

At the 15 September 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council selected ‘Brimbank Aquatic & Wellness Centre' as the official preferred name option for the new health and wellbeing hub.

Under naming regulations, Council must now consult again with the community to allow any objections to the proposed name.

Council will need to release the preferred name for public feedback and objections, before making a final decision to lodge the name with the Office of Geographic Names for approval.

This consultation will take place in the new term of Council, which starts after the Council elections in October 2020.

Project Timeline

This timeline is subject to change.

August 2018

Council approved the centre component brief (i.e. what will be incorporated into the health and wellbeing hub).

September - October 2018​

Community information process undertaken.

December 2018

Council awards contract for the design of the health and wellbeing hub to Williams Ross Architects.

Council offers Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and Comm Unity Plus Services Ltd tenancy agreements to co-locate at the hub.

January 2019​

Design phase commenced

​May 2019

Site masterplan completed

September 2019

Schematic Design completed

February 2020

Detailed Design completed 

Design and Construction tender documents released

18 March 2020

Due to COVID-19 St Albans Leisure Centre closed on Wednesday 18 March 2020.

The decision to temporarily close these facilities meant the St Albans Leisure Centre that was scheduled to close permanently to the public from 14 April, was permanently close from 10pm Wednesday 18 March 2020.

June 2020

Design and Construction contract awarded

July 2020

Expected start of construction of new Health and Wellbeing Hub (including demolition of St Albans Leisure Centre) - Commenced

April 2022

Expected completion of construction

 

Cost and Funding

Victorian State Government logo

The St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub is supported by a $2 million grant from the Victorian Government.

The total cost of the project is anticipated to be in excess of $60 million, taking into account additional items such as design and consultancy fees, development charges, contingencies, facility fit-out, furniture and equipment. Council has made provision in its capital works budget as well as the Long Term Financial Plan for the project.

Council continues to pursue further opportunities for funding at state and federal levels.

 

Frequently asked questions
General

What is happening to St Albans Leisure Centre?

The St Albans Leisure Centre has closed permanently to make way for a world-class health and wellbeing hub, including a new aquatic and leisure centre.

You’ll still be able to swim and exercise at the new facility, while also having access to health and wellbeing services, all under the one roof.

Will Council still manage the new leisure centre?

Yes. Council plans to manage the aquatic and leisure facility once constructed.

Will there be enough parking available?

A new carpark with 300 parking spaces is planned.

What will the new health and wellbeing hub be called?

The community was recently asked to submit their naming suggestions as part of a new campaign. These names will be shortlisted by a committee and presented to Council for consideration.

How will this development impact on the surrounding areas – i.e. playground, skate park, youth resource centre etc.?

An urban design framework has been developed for the area surrounding the St Albans Leisure Centre. 

Will construction impact on access to the Keilor Downs Shopping Centre, the community centre and other nearby facilities?

Every effort will be made to minimise the impact of construction on surrounding areas and we will keep our community and local businesses and residents informed along the way.

Where can I view a copy of the masterplan for the hub?

A site master plan has been endorsed by Council (Ordinary Council Meeting May 2019) and is available to view on this website.

Funding and financial responsibility

What will the leisure centre replacement cost? Why has project cost of the new hub risen since the expected cost spoken about in 2017?

In June, Council awarded a $55.1 million works contract to demolish the tired, old St Albans Leisure Centre and build a state-of-the-art St Albans health and wellbeing hub.

The total cost of the project is anticipated to be in excess of $60 million, taking into account additional items such as design and consultancy fees, development charges, contingencies, facility fit-out, furniture and equipment. Council has made provision in its capital works budget as well as the Long Term Financial Plan for the project.

Since planning on the project first began, the project cost has risen due to the adjusted scope of the project, and also due to rising construction costs across the board.

How will Council fund this new hub?

Council has made provision in its capital works budget as well as the Long Term Financial Plan for the project.

The St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub is supported by a $2 million grant from the Victorian Government.  Council also continues to pursue further opportunities for funding at state and federal level.

What is Council doing to attract funding? Has Council attracted any external funding for the new hub?

Council is fully committed to the new Health and Wellbeing Hub and is on track to proceed as planned with the construction contract now awarded in June 2020.

The Victorian Government is supporting the project through a $2 million grant from the Local Sports Infrastructure Fund Aquatic Centres stream. This funding was announced on 24 July 2020 by Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence.

Council is pursuing further opportunities for funding part of its overarching advocacy to federal and state governments.

Impact of COVID-19

Will demolition of the old leisure centre and construction of the new hub be able to proceed during Stage 4 restrictions?

Construction is proceeding on government advice that the health and wellbeing hub project falls into the ‘large scale construction’ category, with a site larger than 1,500m2.

Our contractors can therefore operate with 25 per cent of their ‘normal’ on-site workforce.

The builders have a labour resource schedule in place to ensure the site complies with restrictions on workforce numbers, as well as a COVID-19 safe plan for the workplace and other safety precautions.

Will the new hub play a role in Council’s COVID-19 recovery work? Why is Council still building this hub, even with the financial impacts of COVID-19?

The St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub is strategically positioned to become a ‘COVID-19 Support Centre for Melbourne’s west’ and help us rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.

Brimbank’s community is particularly vulnerable to the health, wellbeing and socio-economic impacts of a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

The new hub will create approximately 100 jobs during construction and 120 ongoing jobs once operational providing a range of preventative health, wellbeing, social, educational and support services, programs and initiatives that will be vital in supporting our community throughout the COVID-19 recovery phase.

This important work is supported by partnerships with CommUnity Plus, Good Shepherd, Lifesaving Victoria as well as support from over 20 local and regional stakeholders, including Western Health.

What is council doing to offset budget difficulties that may arise due to COVID-19?

Like councils across Victoria, Brimbank is experiencing the financial impacts of COVID-19. This is where Brimbank’s ‘whole-of-council’ COVID-19 Response and Recovery Strategy is important in guiding our response to the community and financial impacts of coronavirus.

Council is working to stimulate local economic activity, support jobs and new health and wellbeing outcomes as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts, consistent with the approach being taken by many other councils, state and federal governments.

The new hub is key to these efforts, as it will create jobs in the immediate and long-term, and provide for up to one million visits per year. Council is continuing to engage with Federal and State Governments around funding opportunities to support the hub, as well as Council’s other key Transforming Brimbank Agenda priorities.

Community need

Why is Council replacing the leisure centre?

The now closed St Albans Leisure Centre needed to be replaced. The facility was almost 60 years old, and there was an ongoing high cost to maintain and repair the facility, which no longer met the needs of the community.

Building a new health and wellbeing hub, including a new aquatic and leisure centre plus other services under the one roof, will better meet the needs of our community going forward.

What’s special about the new Health and Wellbeing Hub?

Brimbank City Council is building an innovative, multi-generational regional facility to improve the health and lives of its community.

The new hub will provide the preventative health, education and social services the community desperately needs, alongside a state-of-the-art aquatic and leisure facility.

This unique integration of services under the one roof makes the hub an Australian-first.

Long term project

What leisure and aquatic facilities will be included in the redevelopment?

  • Two water slides
  • A 50m, ten lane competition pool
  • Leisure water/Learn to Swim Program Pool
  • Warm Water Program Pool with adjoining spas
  • Water play unit and splash pad
  • Dry and steam saunas
  • A large gym with 24-hour access
  • Group fitness studios
  • Meeting and Function rooms
  • A wellness centre
  • Community program room

Other features will include a café, multiple wet and dry change rooms, including family change, and a crèche.

Why aren’t there going to be outdoor pools?

While there are no plans to build outdoor water space at the St Albans health and wellbeing hub at this stage, the site masterplan does include options for further development on the site to include outdoor water space if needed in the future.

Outdoor pools come at a significant cost to build and operate. There will be significantly more water space in the new facility including a 50m, ten-lane competition pool inside the facility. We’ll also be able to meet the needs of local schools for swimming carnivals year round indoors.

Will the gym be bigger?

The gym area will be significantly bigger and will have 24-hour access for members.

In addition to the gym, Council is planning group fitness/function rooms, a wellness centre and community program room.

Will there be more programs and classes on offer?

Programs and classes will be determined closer to when construction is completed. We expect that with a larger venue, we will be able to provide a wider range of services and classes at the facility.

Will the membership prices be the same in the new facility?

We will keep you up to date with membership options and offers available as soon as this information is available.

Finding a name for the new hub

What will the hub be called? 

An overwhelming number of naming suggestions were received through a community campaign in August 2020 that asked for possible names for the new facility.

A Facility Naming Advisory Committee that included community representatives and a representative of the Traditional Owners shortlisted some names for Council consideration.

At the 15 September 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council selected ‘Brimbank Aquatic & Wellness Centre as the official preferred name option for the new health and wellbeing hub.

What’s the next step in naming the hub?

Under naming regulations, Council must now consult again with the community to allow any objections to the proposed name.

Council will need to release the preferred name for public feedback and objections, before making a final decision to lodge the name with the Office of Geographic Names for approval.

This consultation will take place in the new term of Council, which starts after the Council elections in October 2020.