Craigie Leisure Centre’s redevelopment shapes up

Craigie Leisure Centre.
Craigie Leisure Centre.

CRAIGIE Leisure Centre’s $2.7 million stage one redevelopment is proceeding to its design phase.

Joondalup councillors unanimously approved progressing the project to the detailed design and tender stage at its meeting last week.

The refurbishment will include extending the gym and new indoor group fitness and cycling areas, with construction likely to start in 2019.

Though the 460sq m gym was considered bigger than average when it was built in 2005, it now operates at capacity.

In 2015, the City reviewed the health and fitness operations at its Craigie, Duncraig and Heathridge leisure centres and found Craigie could no longer meet the growing needs of members unless it underwent significant refurbishment.

Proposed concept plans – estimated to cost $7.6 million – included a larger gym, group fitness, cycle and creche areas, an outdoor fitness training area and rectangle playing surface with floodlights, moving the cafe outdoors, refurbished changerooms, converting the second level to useable space and more car park space.

“A needs and feasibility study identified that phasing the project would enable costs to be spread over several years to minimise direct impact on the City’s resources,” a council document said.

“If this approach was adopted, it is suggested the main income producing areas are conducted as phase one, specifically gym, group fitness and cycling room areas.”

Mayor Albert Jacob said the leisure industry had changed significantly in recent years and the City had to adapt to current and future trends.

“The gym and group fitness activities at Craigie are the main areas which have been experiencing the most significant challenges in respect to membership retention and it’s vital we continue to offer our patrons world-class facilities that meet their current needs, while also attracting new members into the future,” he said.

“Craigie currently has in excess of 3700 members, with more than 1.3 million visitor numbers recorded in 2016-17 but we’d like to increase membership significantly as the population of the northern corridor continues to rise and to accommodate growing community demand for access to health and leisure lifestyle opportunities.”

Cr Russell Poliwka said the “enhancement was essential” and the “numbers make sense”.

“Financially, it will not be a burden,” he said.

Cr Tom McLean added he had been reassured the centre would run at a net operating surplus eventually.

Cr Christopher May said he welcomed the upgrade to ensure the centre remained a “relevant world-class facility into the foreseeable future”.

The proposed project is expected to come back before the council for approval to appoint a construction contractor in 2019.

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