SPLASH DOWN! Australian-first aquatic health & wellbeing hub on track

In a major boost for the local community and businesses, Brimbank City Council resolved on Tuesday night 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 boasting a 50 metre 10 lane swimming pool, two massive water slides, wellness centre, community program room and more.

Construction of the highly anticipated St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub is set to commence soon, following the award of the construction contract to ADCO Constructions.

Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou described the award of the contract as a major milestone in Council’s journey to deliver the much anticipated hub.

‘It is a pleasure to announce that we are now very close to construction work commencing, to create a vibrant, welcoming and innovative multi-generational health and wellbeing hub.

‘Our unique health and wellbeing hub will offer a state-of-the-art aquatic and leisure centre, as well as a range of preventative health, education and social services delivered by co-located tenant partners CommUnity Plus Services Ltd  and Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand under the one roof. 

‘This is what will set our hub apart from others, making it an ‘Australian-first’.

‘This Council was elected in October 2016 and one of our major priorities was to build Australia’s best multi-function facility to replace the tired and ageing St Albans Leisure Centre. We’ve signed off on that today, having completed almost four years of work to ensure a legacy for our community that will stand up for decades to come,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

‘We are very pleased to be receiving State Government funding towards this much needed health and wellbeing hub.

‘Council has warmly welcomed the announcement by Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence of a $2 million grant to help fund our new health and wellbeing hub, which has been secured through the State Government’s Local Sports Infrastructure Fund Aquatic Centres stream.

‘I would like to mention a special thank you to Natalie Suleyman MP as the State Member for St Albans, as well as all our local parliamentarians who strongly supported and advocated for this much needed project. This support is greatly appreciated.

‘This State Government funding is good news for Brimbank, and will help us deliver a project that will be fundamental in supporting the health and wellbeing of our community, particularly in COVID-19 recovery. 

‘Council also continues to pursue further opportunities for funding at state and federal level for this important facility,’ Cr Papafotiou said. 

The construction contract was awarded by Council at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 23 June 2020, following a stringent and extremely competitive tender process. 

The construction contract is for works to demolish the old St Albans Leisure Centre and construct the new health and wellbeing hub at the same site.

ADCO Constructions is a construction industry leader in a diverse range of sectors, including aquatic and leisure centres delivery and community facilities. Some recent ADCO Constructions projects include Splash Craigieburn Leisure and Aquatic Centre, the La Trobe University Sports Park in Bundoora, and the Hawthorn Aquatic & Leisure Centre.

Cr Papafotiou said the tender was well-timed in a market looking for long term projects, and the tender pricing was extremely competitive for the size and complexity of this project.

‘Starting from plans in 2014 to simply replace the ageing St Albans Leisure Centre, the project has grown in scope as Council considered what other health, education and social needs could be met by such a facility.

‘As a result, the new health and wellbeing hub we are building will provide a much-needed integrated centre for wellbeing and healthy living, improving outcomes across key areas such as jobs, health, education, wellbeing and fairness.’

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.

Cr Papafotiou said there was no doubt the Council budget was under pressure in trying to support the community through a COVID-19 recovery, however in considering our funding and operational modelling, this investment and this infrastructure is an essential part of COVID-19 support and recovery for our community to ensure that we can rebound from the pandemic effectively. 

‘The project is shovel ready, will create approximately 100 jobs during construction, 120 ongoing jobs once operational, and provide a range of vital health, wellbeing, social, educational and support services, programs, and initiatives that our community will need to help us during the COVID-19 recovery phase.

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

‘The Hub’s partnerships with CommUnity Plus and Good Shepherd, which have committed to deliver key local social services; as well as our partnership with Lifesaving Victoria to develop a new ‘Water Safety Education Initiative’ for Multicultural Communities; our new Memorandum of Understanding with Victoria University, as well as the support we have received from over 20 other local and regional stakeholders, provides the foundations for the St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub to support our region in addressing socio-economic issues that are now likely to be compounded because of Coronavirus.

‘Brimbank already experiences a number of significant socio-economic challenges, and is particularly vulnerable to both the health and economic effects of an ongoing and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘We are putting our community first and investing in replacing aged and tired facilities. Our community deserves the very best and this investment is more important now than ever. The new hub will play an important role in helping to deliver a range of preventative, health, education and social services for our community.

‘The hub is going to be an amazing regional destination with something for everyone and Council can’t wait to deliver it to the community,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

The new aquatic and leisure centre will have:

  • 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 
  • 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.

Construction will be starting mid-2020 with the hub expected to be completed in 2022.

Keep up to date at brimbank.vic.gov.au/thehub