The $26.8 million redevelopment of the Casuarina public pool is expected to be finished by late next year.
It will have:
• An eight-lane 50-metre pool
• A temperature-controlled, six-lane 25-metre learn-to-swim pool
• Kidney-shaped resort-style lagoon pool
• Cafe and BBQs
• Large playground
• Dry and wet play spaces
• A highly-interactive sensory dome play space
• Basketball half-court
• Large grassed area for informal games
• Minimum 70 per cent solid shade over the 50-metre and 25-metre pools
• Zero-depth access to all pools
• Better positioned change rooms, including rooms for swimming clubs
Local operators are being invited to lease spaces for a gym, allied health clinics, such as physiotherapy, and the cafe.
The complex has been designed and constructed for people of all abilities.
City of Darwin has contributed $19.3 million and the Federal Government is honouring an election promise by putting up $7.5 million.
The project follows the council’s $15.4 million redevelopment of Parap pool in 2017.
Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis says Casuarina pool is 50 years old and in desperate need of a facelift.
“It has served the community well over the years but the community has grown and standards have risen,” he says.
“The old pool was beginning to cost a lot of money to maintain and repair.
“The council wanted to create something special – an aquatic and leisure centre that is a gathering space for the community.
“I brought up two kids in Darwin so I know how important it is to have somewhere that families can go, especially during the hot, muggy time of the year.
“It not only looks fantastic, but it’s also a great reflection of what our community and key stakeholders told us they wanted for the final design.
“This new centre will really change how people enjoy Darwin’s great outdoors, whether it’s a leisurely dip, learning to swim, training, playing with friends or just relaxing with family.
“The centre’s design has been undertaken with a focus to ensure equitable access for people of all abilities.”
City of Darwin Executive Manager Infrastructure Nik Kleine says the new aquatic centre will offer “something different” for everyone.
He says the development at Casuarina has been designed to offer a recreation experience with a different range of activities and offerings to those provided at the Leanyer Recreational Park.
“It will cater for people of all ages,” he says. “There will be a great range of activities.
“Families will be able to enjoy themselves regardless of the age of the kids.
“People will be able to do laps in the large pool and the program pool can be used for everything from learn-to swim lessons to aqua aerobics and post-injury rehabilitation exercises.
” The family-friendly aquatic centre is expected to be enormously popular – it is in the heart of Darwin’s northern suburbs and is across the road from the Casuarina Square shopping centre.
It has excellent transport links and plenty of parking space.
The design and construct contract was won by born-and-bred Territory construction company Halikos.
Mr Vatskalis says: “Halikos is a Territory company that reinvests its money back into the Territory.”
Shane Dignan of Halikos says all staff working on the project are local, with some having been employed with the company for more than 15 years.
Indigenous participation includes internal training and work experience, plus the engagement of various notable local Indigenous subcontractors through direct and indirect employment.
“With the contract being awarded to our team, we have designed and are constructing another outstanding facility to add to our portfolio of community projects,” Mr Dignan says.
“We are a proudly Territory owned and operated business with a commitment to investing into and developing the local community.
“As of August 2023, a total of 259 local workers, including 21 Indigenous workers and three apprentices, have been engaged on the project throughout the construction phase, maximising local engagement and providing widespread local community benefits.
“We are very proud to be bringing an iconic upgrade to the Territory that will breathe new life into the community while preserving its rich history and cherished moments.”
Construction is underway, with the centre expected to open in late 2024.
For more information, visit darwin. nt.gov.au/projects/casuarinaaquatic- and-leisure-centre