Survey open on building design for Newcastle Ocean Baths

With the Newcastle Ocean Baths set to re-open by the summer, following a lengthy upgrade to the pool and promenade, focus is now turning to the next stage.

Newcastle Council say designs for the pavilion buildings are now being put together and locals are being invited to add their feedback to guide this.

City of Newcastle Executive Director City Infrastructure Joanne Rigby said City of Newcastle was committed to creating an inclusive community space, while also recognising the site’s unique character and heritage features.

“Different building configuration options present different experiences for users, and it’s essential we consider the needs of the broader community now and for decades to come during the renewal of the pavilion buildings,

“A User Needs Analysis is underway to examine requirements like community space that welcomes all visitors in an accessible and inclusive way and is sensitive to the site’s heritage, as well as being resilient to coastal inundation and predicted sea level rise.

“We have developed different layout options and are looking for feedback from the community given the broad range of people’s individual opinions and needs.”

Ideas that have been floated for the next stage include accessibility upgrades, options for a cafe and kiosk, community spaces and change facilities.

The upgrade of the pavilion buildings presents an opportunity to deliver an expanded community space by adding a second storey to the northern pavilion, an option that the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group discussed at last week’s meeting.

Construction of the pool itself is nearing completion, and precast concrete panels have been installed in the wet well area to support the new pumps, which have arrived and will be installed over the winter period.

Work is continuing to restore the historic bleachers, and foundations are in place for the return of the historic art-deco curved stairs leading from the pool up to the pavilion area. A new pool deck is also being constructed to provide a safer surface for walking around the pool edge.

Community members are encouraged to visit to learn more about the project, view the preliminary options, and provide feedback by 12 June.