Work is set to start on Austinmer’s 92-year-old Bathers Pavilion with the refurbishment of the building approved by Wollongong City Council.
Council considered the tender for the work at its meeting last night (Monday April 27) and approved the project to be completed.
The work will focus on extensive structural rectification to the building’s external and internal columns, walls and ceiling. The upgraded building will also include a new compliant unisex accessible amenity facility, which incorporates an adult change table and hoist.
“This is a milestone for the history of a building that is very close to many people’s hearts,’’ say Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery. “We’ve spoken with the community many times about plans for this project and I’m confident that our community will be pleased to hear this upgrade will soon be underway, and that we’re upgrading the building so that it also caters for those who require accessible amenities.
“Council has identified improving accessibility across our city as one of our organisational goals and the Austinmer Beach precinct has been marked in our Beach and Foreshore Access Strategy as a key location for accessibility. We’ve already improved pathways in the area, and the beach matting was located here last summer. This is the next positive and pro-active step.’’
Work is anticipated to start as soon as possible with the plan to wrap the project up by the end of the year. Temporary amenities, including toilets and showers, will be placed on the grassed area outside the surf club while the project is underway.
“Of course, with old buildings like this you never know what you’ll find beneath the surface and while we have done comprehensive investigations, there are always challenges you can’t predict,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“The first step will be to remove the building’s paintwork and assess the state of the brickwork underneath. This project will not be an easy, quick fix but it will be one that, ultimately, benefits everyone in our community.’’
The Austinmer Bathers Pavilion refurbishment includes:
- Structural rectification to all concrete structures including repairing existing cracks, spalling and damaged reinforcement bars
- Replacement of existing fixtures and fittings like taps, shower heads and toilets
- Construction of an accessible amenity through the building’s front façade. This will include an accessible toilet, shower, basin, adult change table, system hoist and baby change table
- Improve the external front pavement area to provide level access to the accessible amenity
- Put a concrete cap on existing balustrade to bring to a complying height
- Removal of all existing painted surfaces and updating with new paint
- Reusing existing timber bench seats
- Replacement of steel roof and timber frame