THE doors of Austinmer’s much-loved bathers pavilion will reopen in time for Christmas with the fencing around the worksite to be removed in the coming days.
The Pavilion closed in May for an essential refurbishment to address the building’s ageing facilities.
The work to the 92-year-old building included the addition of accessible amenities in line with Wollongong City Council’s commitment to improve access for all members of our community to our beaches and public spaces across the city.
“If you ask any beachgoer – whether local or a daytripper – Austinmer Beach often comes up as a lovely place to swim between the flags or in the popular rock pools, and an easy and accessible place to relax along the foreshore,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
“However, the amenities at this location have not been up to scratch for some time. They were old, rundown, and didn’t provide an accessible toilet or changing space that would enable people with disability to spend extended time at this beautiful beach. I am pleased we have been able to address all these matters with the refurbishment.
“It’s also really positive we’ve been able to finish this work in time for Christmas and the school holidays. We’re anticipating a busy summer this year, and the upgrades to these facilities will help support the number of people who visit this beach.’’
The seven-month project included paint stripping, concrete repairs, roofing works and the addition of the accessible amenities, including an adult lift and change table, at the front of the building. Internally, there have been improvements to the toilet and shower facilities with new fixtures and fittings.
As work got underway, the removal of the building’s paint revealed the true condition of its walls and it was clear that the existing roof load capacity would not meet community needs or expectations.
To overcome this, Council used prefabricated carbon fibre reinforced polymer plates to strengthen the roof slab
“We have used innovative technology in building works in the past and this work was no different,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“We know the local community love being able to use the top of the facilities as a viewing platform or for yoga and we wanted to make sure this was able to continue into the future. These carbon fibre reinforced polymer plates will allow that to happen – without changing the look or aesthetics of the building.’’
It’s anticipated that all fencing around the site will be removed by the end of this week with the temporary amenities on the grass outside the surf club, removed shortly after.
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