A concept design for the first stage of the planned Newcastle Ocean Baths upgrade has been finalised by the City of Newcastle (CoN)
The design, which was formulated in close consultation with the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group (CRG), will improve the ageing pools and lower promenades, with a focus on increased accessibility.
“The big winner has been accessibility improvements, with fit-for-purpose ramps for people with a disability or mobility issue to easily get to and from the pools,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said
“We’ve carefully considered the location of the ramp access into the pools and following advice from the CRG and in consultation with disability advocates have realigned the new ramp to the western edge of the pool to allow long lap swimming.”
Cr Nelmes added that the existing rounded central stairs will be incorporated in the new design with “upgraded seating and improvements to ensure they meet modern standards.”
Other changes made in response to community feedback include replacing the shade structure with a rainproof shade textile that can be removed during the winter season, the colour scheme of extended bleachers and reducing the visual impact of the new lifeguard tower.
The upgrade will also see the bleacher seating retained, the boardwalk renewed and a new pump station installed to allow for more effective pool cleaning.
The concept design also addresses the undulating rock bottom, while retaining the sand floor to facilitate cleaning of the pools and increase user safety when sand levels are low.
The upgrade is a staged project that will begin with the restoration of the pools and promenades in the second half of 2021 as part of Stage 1. Stage 2 will focus on the upper concourse and pavilion building.
Construction on Stage 1 of the Newcastle Ocean Baths upgrade is expected to commence mid-year.