A proposed $64 million refurbishment of North Sydney Pool has been given the go-ahead to commence building works in March. The historic sporting venue, which boasts unbeatable views of Luna Park, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, will receive upgrades to both its indoor and outdoor pools, as well as the addition of a new spectator grandstand and an expansion of its gym facilities. There will also be a greater emphasis given to community use, with the creation of a family leisure pool, a gelato bar and sundeck, and the introduction of disabled access to all the venue's facilities for the first time. It's hoped the planned additions will attract a more diverse range of visitors and tourists.
Plans for the upgrades have been in the works for some time, but have been repeatedly stalled due to heritage concerns and other planning delays. This has caused the originally proposed budget of $28 million to drastically balloon, first to $58 million and then to the final approved sum of $64 million. While this is an undeniably hefty price tag, this will be the most significant upgrade to the pool since it first opened its lanes in 1936. In the ensuing 84 years, the pool has become synonymous with Australian swimming’s international dominance, with pool legends like Shane Gould and Lorraine Crapp setting world records in its waters.
The pool will close to the public from the end of February 2021, with building works estimated to last two years.