Cockburn ARC membership numbers exceeding projections ahead of grand opening

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett with Aiden and Isobel Lindsay and Tom Warren at Cockburn ARC ahead of its opening next week. Picture: Jon Hewson
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett with Aiden and Isobel Lindsay and Tom Warren at Cockburn ARC ahead of its opening next week. Picture: Jon Hewson

THE countdown to splashdown is on but the Cockburn Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) is apparently already making waves.

Just days out from officially opening, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the $109 million project was “six to 12 months” ahead of schedule in terms of the number of members signed to the centre.

While the City would not reveal exact figures – they were withheld due to the competitive nature of the industry – Mr Howlett said the number would make the ARC the most popular facility of its type in WA and was a vote of confidence from the community ahead of its opening on May 22.

“When you’re sitting back planning it, there’s a bit of hesitation when you consider the financial commitment required, the planning that goes into it and the overall management,” he said.

“We’ve been very fortunate with our CEO and executive and the relevant staff leading through to the appointment of Brett McEwin as the manager of the complex.

“Just talking to the staff who have been engaged to work at this facility, it was all about capturing the imagination (of the community) and excellence in customer service.

“That’s already been demonstrated every time I’ve been out here.”

The state-of-the-art recreation hub, which has been under construction since July 21, 2015, has indoor and outdoor heated pools, learn-to-swim and interactive water facilities, and three waterslides.

There is a spa, sauna and steam room, as well as a six-court indoor sports stadium, gym and separate fitness studios.

There are also facilities for children and families including a creche, birthday party room, indoor play centre and a cafe.

All of this came about following some serious preparation.

More than 50 reference group meetings were held during planning for the centre, with the item also going before the City’s council 12 times.

“It’s an outstanding outcome,” Mr Howlett said.

“I’m looking forward to the official opening but more importantly the community getting engaged and involved here.

“There’s so many opportunities here now and the flexibility within the centre itself is amazing.”

More than a million people are expected to visit the facility each year.

The opening of the ARC coincides with the permanent closure of the 25-year-old South Lake Leisure Centre.

Cockburn ARC will officially open on May 22 but will be open to a limited few over the two days prior, with the City offering a ticketed grand opening “discover” event this weekend.

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How it was funded
City of Cockburn: $72.85m (municipal and reserves $47.85m, WA Treasury Corporation loan $25m)
Fremantle Football Club: $12.75m
Federal Government RDAF: $10m
State Government: Cabinet $10m, CSRFF: $2.4m
Curtin University: $1m
Total: $109m

Cockburn ARC features
Three recreation pools – hydrotherapy and aquatic recovery pools (50m outdoor, 25m indoor pool, and learn to swim).
Three 18m high waterslides that run up to 125m in length.
A six-court multi-purpose stadium.
Gym and group fitness areas.
An allied health centre, creche and cafe.
Community function space.
Dedicated AFL and community ovals.
Fremantle Football Club’s administration and elite-athlete training facilities.
Programs for elite swimmers under the Western Australian Institute of Sport.
Curtin University’s education and research lecture theatres, classrooms, shared laboratories, and training and testing facilities.
Sustainability features include a passive solar design, LED lighting, high efficiency pool water filtration to reduce total water consumption and a Building Management System with digital air-conditioning and ventilation control.
A $3 million investment in geothermal energy infrastructure will have a payback period of between 7-10 years and heats the centre’s eight pools.
The centre’s Solargain rooftop solar installation will generate 1550MWh per year, providing about a third of the facility’s annual load, saving about $300,000 annually and a carbon dioxide offset of 1170 tonnes a year.

1470 applications were received for 20 full-time position and 1632 applications were received for 250 casual positions.

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