The people of Parramatta have sweated it out for two summers without a community pool, ever since the area's only place to swim was bulldozed in 2017 to make way for the Western Sydney Stadium development.
Now, after two years of delays, negotiation stumbles and funding issues, the NSW government and Parramatta City Council have made a commitment to investing $77 million in a new aquatic centre (architects' rendering above) to be located near Parramatta Park and the Mays Hill precinct. When completed, it will feature a 25-metre indoor pool, a 50-metre outdoor pool and a gym, as well as a cafe and lush gardens where sun-seekers can catch a few rays.
But before you grab your goggles, there’s just one catch: this ambitious, state-of-the-art development won’t be completed for another four years. It's designed by a collective of three architectural firms, and construction of the aquatic centre is expected to be finished by 2023. When it finally opens its doors to the public, it promises to be a major asset to the City of Parramatta, but till then, swimmers in Sydney’s west will have to take the plunge elsewhere.