David Bennison and Greg Clarke explain how Myrtha RenovAction was used to bring Blayney’s aquatic centre back to life.
The small town of Blayney in New South Wales is a community built around local farming and mining, with a population just under 3,500. In the heart of town, just a couple of blocks from its historic railway station, members of the community have for years enjoyed all the benefits of the well-equipped CentrePoint Athletic & Leisure Centre.
Originally built around 1970, the centre includes a gym, fitness classes and various sport and community activities. A major feature of CentrePoint is that it contains one of the few indoor pools in the area. The pool is home to the Blayney Dolphins Swim Club, as well as providing lessons, learn-to-swim programs, Aquafit, community swim time, family swims and more.
With the 2017 winter approaching, and the facility nearing its 50th anniversary, pool problems had escalated to become more than just normal maintenance issues. With the unfixable failure of the pool area’s air-handling system, along with various aspects of the facility no longer meeting current health standards, the town planned a major renovation of the aquatic facility.
While the pool and pool systems were certainly past their prime, the building itself was in good shape (strong bones!) so, after considering many options, rather than choosing a tear-down and rebuild approach, town planners elected to initiate a redesign and renovation of the pool area.
To tackle the complex project, they formed a formidable team: Swimplex Aquatics – a Myrtha Pools distributor; Studio Ga, Architects; Hines Construction; and SCP Consulting, Aquatic Engineers. Together, these organizations worked in partnership with the CentrePoint facility and the town of Blayney to beautifully restore the complex.
The goal for the updated facility was to provide the Blayney area with a flexible, fun and fabulous community aquatics centre. To help bring the new pool to life, Swimplex Aquatics – Australia’s pool, water park, and splash-pad leaders – were brought on to manage the aquatic aspects of the project.
Swimplex, is the Australian distributor and partner of Italy’s Myrtha Pools, the world leaders in swimming pool technology and manufacturing. Beyond building 1500 + new pools a year, all around the world, Myrtha has developed an incredibly flexible and efficient pool renovation technology called RenovAction® – which offered the perfect solution for the CentrePoint renewal project.
Myrtha’s RenovAction system is a customisable process that allows tremendous variation in pool size, shape and use. Modular stainless-steel panels, waterproofed with a durable PVC laminated membrane, form the walls of the pool, providing unmatched durability and easy maintenance.
RenovAction technology has brought game-changing advantages over concrete and other solutions. The modular panels (and all components) are easily carried in through any door, minimizing disassembly and demolition, while saving time and expense. Myrtha’s high-chromium stainless-steel alloy, is both strong and resistant to chemicals and corrosion, ensuring a long life for all RenovAction projects. Plus, when compared to a typical poured concrete pool, RenovAction uses a minimal amount of concrete, avoiding an extra labour-intensive process and providing the community with the essential, low carbon footprint of Myrtha pool technology.
The original CentrePoint aquatics layout featured 3 swimming pools, including a 33 m main tank. The new facility was redesigned to offer a better selection of aquatic options. The planners reconfigured the existing 33 m pool area to a standard (and race-ready) 25 m tank, along with an 8 m learn-to-swim pool. They then designated the remaining area as a fun, splash-and-slide play area for the centre’s younger visitors. To serve each pool’s needs, the new plan included 3 filtration and heating systems.
The CentrePoint renovation was a major upgrade in almost every way. The pools were brought up to current Department of Health standards for water safety; and circulation, filtration, chemical and overflow systems were all raised to high 2020 standards. During the process, the planners made each pool deeper: the 25 m tank’s depth increased by approximately 0.2 m in the deep end, and 0.1 in the shallow end, making the facility suitable for more activities.
Additionally, both the 25 m and learn-to-swim pools were built to offer accessible entry options, ensuring the facility is welcoming to more people who’d love to come for a swim. The larger pool now has an elevator pool pod to lower a bather into the water, and the pool design includes recessed stairs to make getting in and out of the pool easier for swimmers that have difficulty with using a ladder. The smaller learn-to-swim pool, newly widened, now has space for an easy-entry ramp making access possible for pool users, regardless of ability.
As the only pool in town, timing is everything.
Closing the CentrePoint pool for the renovation was going to put the 70-member Dolphins swim team and a whole community out of the water. For that reason, a quick installation was critical. Prior to closing the facility, a meticulous design phase was undertaken to plan every aspect of the new centre. Myrtha Pools 3-D CAD modelling made captured meticulous detail. And, with a plan in hand, Myrtha prefabricated the RenovAction technology components in Italy and shipped them to Blayney for installation. Only then was the pool shut down, so the renovation and installation could begin.
The head contractor for the project was a highly regarded Bathurst, NSW firm, Hines Construction. Under the expert management of the Hines sports-facility team, the facility had three beautiful new RenovAction pools with the necessary mechanical systems installed, finished and filled in short order – while Blayney residents stormed back for a swim.
A proud day for Blayney.
The transformation of the CentrePoint facility from faded and substandard to the bright, modern, multi-functional, community hub it has become, is everything town planners had hoped for when it first became clear the old facility needed a facelift. Three new pools, built for sport, recreation, teaching, fitness and fun are now available to more people than ever.
With the project completion coming a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic, the grand reopening of the centre came with new rules and safety measures, but even that could not diminish the enthusiasm of the community, so eager to be back in the swim of things.
Soon after the pool reopened in June 2020, the town named the local YMCA to manage and run the revived centre. For their experience in athletics and customer service, along with their appreciation for community in general, the Y is the perfect partner to ensure the citizens of Blayney get the full benefit of their 3 new Myrtha RenovAction pools.
For more information on Myrtha Pools RenovAction technology visit www.myrthapools.com
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This story was originally published in Australian Leisure Magazine 2019