The Warringah Aquatic Centre in New South Wales, Australia is in the midst of a property battle of sorts, as the site’s demolition is currently being discussed by Northern Beaches Council. According to The Daily Telegraph, the aquatic center, once home to former World Champion Bobby Hurley, is at the center of the Northern Beaches Hospital precinct structure plan. The plan involves building a new town center on the current Forest High School site, with a new school taking over the aquatic center’s plot.
However, the proposal isn’t being met positively across the board, as elite athletes in the area have expressed deep concerns with how the pool’s loss would impact the community. Hurley, who is currently taking a break from being in the pool by training Chad Le Clos in South Africa, says, “The Warringah Aquatic Centre has been one of the premier swimming facilities in Sydney over the past 20 years.
“It is where I won my first state championship medals as a 10-year-old swimmer. In 2016 I joined the Warringah Swimming Club on my journey to the Olympic trials To get an indoor, heated 50m facility on the beautiful northern beaches was the biggest standard for me to come and return from my American training environment,” Hurley further commented.
Big Blue head coach Tim Lane, who operates out of Warringah says, “What it will eventually mean is loss of water space which is huge, and obviously vital for elite athletes. Whether it is swimmers, surf life savers or triathlon, at the end of the day they would have to relocate out of Sydney or even NSW.
“We have seen that, in competitive pool swimming, all of our swimmers are moving to Queensland where they have better facilities.”
According to Council Administrator Dick Persson, “Northern Beaches Council will do everything possible to make sure the Warringah Aquatic Centre (WAC) is not closed and will work with the Department of Education to look at alternative options for where the school can be built on the WAC site, for example on the existing carpark.
“The plan to relocate the school on the Warringah Aquatic Centre site is dependent on retaining the Warringah Aquatic Centre or building a new pool facility of equal amenity at no additional cost to Council.”