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Circular Head Community Wellbeing Centre


Circular Head Community Wellbeing Centre is a $12M project being jointly funded with $3.8M from the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund and $3.5M from the Tasmanian State Government with Council funding the remaining $4.7M.

The centre will provide swimming and water based recreation spaces as well as including ‘dry’ program rooms and refurbishment of two existing squash courts into an exercise program room.

By locating on site with the existing indoor sports stadium there is opportunity for a range of community health and wellbeing programs to be offered from the site.


Concept Plans Key Features

  • A six lane, 25 metre pool.  The pool starts at 0.9m depth through to 1.8m depth  with a 1.2m deep zone suitable for aqua fit or similar water based activities;
  • Program pool, 3 lane, 12.5m long, shallower depth for learn to swim (0.9m), running at a warmer temperature than main pool;
  • Aquatic play area beach entry 0.25m depth and play equipment;
  • Multipurpose program space with two rooms capable of being used together or separately;
  • Separate male and female change room facilities including toilet and shower facilities;
  • Three family change rooms;
  • Disability access change room and toilet facility;
  • An entrance foyer, office, reception / kiosk area and external courtyard area with seating;
  • Refurbishment of two squash courts into a single exercise space;
  • A mechanical plant room to house pool filtration, water treatment and heating plant including mechanical plant platforms;
  • Solar water pre heating, solar panels; and
  • Connection and integration into the adjoining existing sports facility.

Construction is expected to commence by October 2017 and be completed in October 2018.

Figure 1 - Artistic representation of facility viewed from deep end of pool



Pool concept















Figure 2 - Artistic representation of main entry 

Main entry

Figure 3 - 3D representation view from North West of site

North West of site


Figure 4 - Site Plan

Pool Site Plan


Figure 5 - Floor Plan


Figure 6 - Aerial view from Nelson Street looking south

Nelson Street view

Figure 7 - Artistic representation of main entry 

Aerial Nelson Street

Figure 8 - Reception/kiosk as viewed from within pool



Background to the design process

  1. In 2014 a Swimming Pool Reference group was established with a cross section of community members to identify what is needed for a swimming facility.  Key messages from this was a desire that the facility be able to provide all year round activities being heated and indoor.
  2. From November 2015- February 2016 there was community discussion about the scope and site for a facility.  The end result was that the Indoor Sports Stadium site was selected.  A decision on the scope of the facility was made to enable it to be delivered in two stages (subject to funding).  The two stages were a 25m 6 lane pool in stage 1 and program pool and aquatic play in stage 2
  3. March – December 2016 - Efforts were focussed on obtaining funding for a facility, in particular for both stages to be delivered as one project.  Funding from Federal and State Government was announced during this time.
  4. December 2016- January 2017 with the confirmation of funding, a design team was commissioned to translate the concept plans developed over the preceding 12 months into preliminary plans for detailed costing followed by detailed plans and specifications for construction.
  5. A project steering group was established consisting of the Mayor, Councillors Ashley Popowski & Norman Berechree, General Manager and two additional community representatives.  Other input has been sough including from lessons learnt from similar facilities.
  6. After preliminary costings were received in March the design was reviewed to identify savings to ensure the project could be completed within the total project budget of $12M

Key Points

  • Community discussion centred on site selection and what the facility should include.  The project timelines and complexity of design tasks involved do not permit detailed consultation at every step of the process.
  • The facility needs to be designed with best value and lowest operating cost in mind.  Best value involves providing for as many activities as possible to occur in the facility.
  • The building whilst needing to be attractive must avoid features which add to the construction cost or become difficult to maintain.
  • The selection of building components and features must deliver best operating cost.  Solar panels and solar water heating are an example of ways to keep operating costs low.
  • The facility is designed and funded to serve as a community wellbeing centre.  It needs to deliver on these outcomes.  Choices had to be made as to what is and isn’t included in the facility.  The facility is not being designed to specifically allow for competitions to occur, although will enable school carnivals to occur with a limited space for spectator viewing. 




What is the building made of?
  • Laminated timber portal columns and beams support the main building
  • The walls are insulated panels with colorbond finish (Windspray and Shale Grey)
  • Internally blockwork walls are used for a durable finish
  • Roof finish is dark to maximise solar water heating (Iron Stone)
 Where are all the windows?

Highlight windows are used on the northern wall of the facility.  Sunlight can impact visibility in the water for safety and monitoring by lifeguards.  Large window spaces are also more difficult to insulate.

What is on the floor?

Surrounding the pool will be marine grade carpet.  This will also be provided with floor heating.  This provides for both comfort and safety of users and also assists with noise levels in the main pool hall.

Multipurpose Program Rooms?

These spaces can be used separately or as two connected spaces.  This allows for wellbeing, health and fitness activities to be conducted whilst also providing the flexibility that spaces can be used for activities such as children’s parties, or swim club meetings.

Exercise Room

This space has converted two of the existing squash courts into a larger space suitable for use for exercise activities.


Space is provided for provision of drinks and light snacks to be served.

Spectator Seating

In the design process this was considered.  With the cost of providing the additional building space and extra toilets required by the Building Code for spectator seating this space has been reduced in the final design to fit within project estimates.

Events and Carnivals

The facility is a wellbeing centre and is to provide for community wellbeing through recreation and exercise activities whilst also providing for essential learn to swim activities.

As a six lane facility it would provide for training activities of the local swim club, but not capacity to host official events.

The 25m pool can accommodate 8 narrower lane ropes suitable for school swimming carnivals.  It is acknowledged that there are limits on the viewing area available for a school swimming carnival.  For the estimated 8 occasions per year for a school swimming carnival temporary stackable seating could be used around the perimeter of the lap pool and that extra indoors spaces available in the facility would be available as marshalling areas to accommodate students in between races.


Next Steps

Detailed design documentation is being prepared for Tender to go out in July 2017.

Construction is forecast from September 2017 - October 2018. The funding of the project has now been confirmed with Council up to $4.7M, Federal Government National Stronger Regions Fund $3.8M and State Government $3.5M. Any additional funds raised via fundraising activities will be used to enhance the facility and not replace any of the other funding commitments.


Background information

In 2009 the Circular Head War Memorial Swimming pool was identified as nearing the end of its useful life in an engineering report.  From this time there were a number of efforts to gain funding and including in 2013 an unsuccessful proposal for a new facility within the Smithton CBD.  Council acknowledged the lack of community support for the 2013 proposal and established in 2014 a reference group from across the community to find out what swimming pool facilities the community needed. 

In the course of this work a further engineering assessment examined the possible redevelopment options of the existing pool.  This assessment led to the decision of Council to close the pool in October 2015.   This situation could be compared with spending on vehicle maintenance on an old car – at some point the costs of keeping it on the road outweigh the costs and benefits of investing in a new car.

From November 2015 to February 2016 a public engagement process was undertaken to look at options for replacement.  This included the site and what scope of facility would be considered.  A public information session was held at the Smithton High School on 16 February 2016 where councillors presented on the decision they were considering on the selection of site for the pool and what features it would have.

It was identified that there is no cost advantage to rebuild on the ANZAC Park site, with estimates facility meeting modern requirements would require a different layout and the sloping site would add to construction costs.

Benefits of the Indoor Sports Stadium Site at 110 Nelson Street included co-location and management of facility, close to schools, good vehicle access, flat site.  The decision was made to seek government funding to construct in two stages (if necessary) being a 25m lap pool in stage 1 and a program pool and aquatic play in stage 2. 

With a level of community support for the site and scope of the proposed facility funding applications were made.  This has resulted in October 2016 an announcement for the construction of the Circular Head Community Wellbeing Centre of $3.8M from the Federal government National Stronger Regions Fund for stage 1 and in December $3.5M from the State Government which allows stage 1 & 2 to be constructed at the same time.  The Council contribution to the project is up to $4.7M.  The selection of the Indoor Sports Stadium site and the integration fo the facilities has assisted in gaining the government funding.

With stages 1 & 2 being confirmed as one project all specialist design work was commissioned in January 2017 to go through the process of preparing preliminary designs from the previous concepts.  Preliminary designs and detailed costing undertaken by a quantity surveyor in February which led to refinements and revisions to the design make sure that the design will fit within the total project budget.

The total $12M project budget is to allow for all contingencies, design and preparatory work, civil works, equipment etc.  The building construction cost will be the result of a competitive tender process and will ultimately be determined through this process.

Council is awaiting some 3D rendered images of the proposed facility.  It is hoped these will be ready for publication in the Circular Head Chronicle by the end of June.

(Article updated 15/6/2017)






Fundraising for the Swimming Pool

There is a group of community members who are fundraising for the new pool.  Information can be found on their facebook page ( or see below)


Tax deductible donations to the swimming pool project can be made via the Australian Sports Foundation at the following link

Please read the conditions for the donations on the above web link.  Any funds raised will be used will add to the facility and not replace a Council contribution.

For anyone interested in pledging an amount of $1000 or more (to be paid later).  There is a form availabile at the following link Pledge Form - Circular Head Swimming Pool(425 kb)



Circular Head War Memorial Swimming Pool

Council made the difficult decision to close the Circular Head War Memorial Swimming Pool indefinitely on 8 October 2015 after 53 years of operation.

There is more information about the process to replace the pool here


The full media release in regards to the pool closure is available here -



Background Circular Head Council Pool Proposal (154 kb)