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Thursday, February 27, 2014

'Community Concepts' - DCSCA submission 13

This is the thirteenth submission by the Drysdale and Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA) to the City of Greater Geelong's 'Community Concepts' programme. 
For background on the programme, and earlier DCSCA submissions see "'Community Concepts' - making the process transparent" on this blog (22 January).

A Scoping Study: A Swimming Pool at Drysdale Sports Precinct
The council should establish a 'scoping study' to investigate the need for a swimming pool and related facilities. The pool would be within the Drysdale Sport Precinct and would service the central Bellarine. The study should be led by the council or an outside appointed expert, with support from COGG officers. The study group should include representatives from State and federal departments, local schools, local community, recreational and sporting Groups; and it should investigate similar projects in Victoria.

The study group should investigate:
  • predicted level of patronage by, e.g., the 6 local schools and 3 kindergartens, as well as the broader community
  • potential revenue to the council
  • level of community support
  • benefits to fast growing local communities of a pool in the Drysdale Sports precinct
  • benefits to the local economy of the Bellarine Peninsula
  • long term needs of fast growing local communities
  • appropriate size and cost of pool and feasibility of a staged approach (e.g. Stage 1 - an indoor/outdoor pool; Stage 2 - a Wellness Centre) to account for population growth.
The Scoping Study would gather facts and make recommendations; the council could then make plans in its budget, seek State and Federal Government support and stage the expenditure.

Note! The two local councillors currently representing Drysdale and Clifton Springs (neither of whom lives in the area) oppose a local pool because, they say, there is a pool at Ocean Grove. This ignores the need to replace the former Clifton Springs Pool and it ignores growing community need and opinion. DCSCA believes the need is evident and seeks an informed study and Council priority to this area. 

Objectives of the project

  • To make an informed and considered recommendation in line with the long-term aquatic, sporting and health needs of the central Bellarine.
  • To service the 3 local Kindergartens (Drysdale Preschool, Clifton Springs Preschool and Beacon Point Preschool) and the 6 local Schools (St Ignatius College, Christian College, Bellarine Secondary College, Drysdale Primary School, Clifton Springs Primary School and St Thomas Catholic Primary School). DCSCA believes there are a total of more than 3,500 students at these schools and considers that this fact alone more than justifies the need for a pool.
  • To provide hydrotherapy facilities for the increasing population of older people on the Bellarine Peninsula
  • Provision of a local pool will reduce costs and the 'carbon footprint' by reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming travel to other pools
  • To facilitate water familiarity and water safety and provide “learn to swim” services for the local Kindergartens and an increasing number of young families
  • To facilitate Aus Swim and Bronze Medallion Life Saving classes for the local schools
  • To facilitate swimming within the sport/recreation programs in the 6 local schools
  • To provide the opportunity for the provision of competitive water sports for schools and local clubs
  • To increase social activity and reduce anti-social behavior by promoting healthy lifestyles and by encouraging active recreation and an engaged community
  • To improve community health and well-being, reduce obesity within the community and reduce the cost burden on the health system
  • To grow the local economy by providing economic benefits and local employment
  • To enable the Drysdale Sports Precinct to have a continuous staff presence, improving security and improving the service to the community
  • To enable infrastructure economies (sharing of changing rooms, toilets, etc) at the Drysdale Sports Precinct
  • To provide a tourist attraction for the recognized holiday area of the central Bellarine.
  • To complement the National Disability Scheme by providing suitable pool access and hydrotherapy services for the disabled, the aged and people with sport injuries
  • To provide employment and, with good management, generate income.
A staged approach
Implementation of each stage will depend on funds.
Stage 1 Swimming Pool (indoor/outdoor)
To service the students (estimated to be in excess of 3500) at the 3 local Kindergartens and the 6 local Schools and the designated growth area of the central Bellarine. Pool to be family friendly and provide ramp access, lap swimming, 'toddler area' and have north facing sliding doors onto adjacent picnic area. The facility should have solar water heating and solar panels to be sustainable and enhance the natural environment.

Locating the pool in the Drysdale Sport Precinct would allow economies in infrastructure (carpark, toilets, changing rooms, kiosk/cafe, etc). It would also allow economies of personnel and would enable the Sports Precinct to have a continuous staff presence.

The option of hydrotherapy facilities in Stage 1 should be considered.

Stage 2 - Wellness centre including Hydrotherapy Centre, Gym, Spa and Sauna.

Stages 3, 4. - Waterslides. Dive pool. Competition pool.

Street address and suburb: Grubb Road, Drysdale.
Council ward: Cheetham
Estimate of total project cost: $40000 - $80,000, depending on the brief for the study and the level of in-house COGG resources used.
DCSCA has been involved in the development of the Drysdale Sports Precinct and has been promoting the benefits of the provision of a swimming pool for several years. DCSCA has volunteer insurance and members would be happy to assist in any way. One of our citizens has experience in establishing a council owned facility of this type and would be available for advice.

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