Preparation for the refurbishment of the Austinmer Bathers Pavilion starts today- Thursday 7 May.
First step is the set up of the temporary amenities on the grassed area immediately north of the Surf Club building.
These temporary amenities, including toilets and showers, will be in place while the extensive works to the 92-year-old building are carried out.
A site shed and fencing will soon be placed around the Pavilion, allowing work to start on the refurbishment.
“We’re moving quickly on this project to get this complex job wrapped up in time for next summer’s beach-going peak,’’ says Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery.
The Austinmer Bathers Pavilion refurbishment will see extensive structural repairs to the building’s external and internal columns, walls and ceilings. A new timber frame and metal roof will be installed over the toilets, the existing balustrade will be capped to bring it up to a complying height, and fixtures including taps, showers and hooks will be replaced.
Modifications will also be made to the building to allow for the addition of a new accessible toilet, shower, basin, adult change table, ceiling hoist and baby change table.
“This is big project and one that will no doubt throw up some challenges, as any building of this age and in a harsh seaside environment can,’’ said Cr Bradbery.
“We know this building is a valued community space and I’m pleased we’ve been able to maintain its look and feel, while also adding in an accessible amenity that will allow the Austinmer beach precinct to be enjoyed by everyone especially those with a disability.’’
The first phase of the project includes the removal of interior and exterior paint, some of which is believed to be lead-based, and the toilets’ roofing.
This work is anticipated to start around Monday 18 May.
“The age of this building means there would have been materials used in its construction and maintenance we wouldn’t use today. We are aware of this and will have expert contractors on site to manage their removal.,” says Councillor Bradbery. “They will have stringent measures in place, wear appropriate protective clothing, and have the safety of the broader community front-of-mind especially in this phase of work,’’