Skip to main content

Community and Recreation Hub detailed design

Community and Recreation Hub detailed design
03 December 2019

City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle and Mayor Lynette Martin with the detailed design for the Community and Recreation Hub.
Andrew Meddle and Lynette Martin
City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle and Mayor Lynette Martin with the detailed design for the Community and Recreation Hub.

Following months of behind the scenes work the detailed design of the Mount Gambier Community and Recreation Hub is now complete. The completion of the plans now enables Council and project architects DesignInc to release tender documentation to shortlisted construction companies as part of the select tender process following the recent expression of interest advertised on the open market.

“It is really exciting that we have now progressed to the procurement stage of the project after more than 18 months of tireless work by all involved,” City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said.

“For many months there has been a lot of essential work taking place behind the scenes to reach this point and I am sure the community will be pleased to see the project moving closer towards becoming a reality.”

The nationwide expression of interest process aimed to establish the current capacity and capability of construction companies within the open market.

The select tender process is now about sharing the specific and detailed design with the shortlisted prospective head contractors to enable the project to be properly costed according to the market and so we can endeavour to get the best value for money for our community. - City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin

City of Mount Gambier staff and Elected Members have been working closely with the project architects, with input from the Community Reference Group, to refine the intermediate design presented to the community late in 2018.

Ground Floor

Refinements to the design have been minimal and are focused on meeting compliance for a range of sporting codes and the National Construction Code following recent changes. Whole of life factors have also been considered as part of the refinements to ensure the best value can be sought through both the construction and operation phases of the facility.

The plans have been refined to ensure the new facility is compliant with current standards and best practice in the construction industry with these changes mainly focused on recently introduced building fire safety regulations.
- City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle

The facility has been designed to increase the City’s ability to host major state and national sporting competitions, conferences, events and performances and is expected to provide significant social and economic benefits to Mount Gambier.

“Council has also considered the varying sporting codes that will be accommodated and has made minor amendments to the intermediate design to ensure that the facility is future proofed and there is the capacity and flexibility to enable more people to play more sports more often,” Mr Meddle said.

As the project has progressed from intermediate to detailed design other refinements include the introduction of additional commercial kitchen space, enhanced water play area, additional storage, hydronic flooring, provisions for solar power and increased electrical capabilities.

“The inclusion of a three-phase power outlet improves the flexibility of the facility and is essential to running large scale events.”

“The increased electrical capabilities also provide the option to power the whole facility by generator, which will enable the site to be used as a disaster recovery centre should the need ever arise,” Mr Meddle said.

Based on feedback from the community the first floor commercial kitchen size has been increased. This will allow greater flexibility to service multiple events and activities concurrently at the café and on the first floor.

The input we’ve had so far towards the project from various stakeholders has been most valuable and our focus remains on delivering a multi-purpose facility for the whole community to enjoy.
- City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin

The addition of hydronic flooring has been included in the design and aims to reduce costs associated with the operation of the facility.

“Heated flooring in the wet areas has many benefits including improved energy efficiency. It also reduces the amount of ongoing maintenance and cleaning required and helps to improve safety by making the floor surfaces less slippery,” Mr Meddle said.

The core elements of the facility as presented in the intermediate design have been retained, including:

  • Conference, events and performance space, adaptable for many uses with 1000 person plus capacity,
  • Six indoor multi-purpose courts catering for various sports and users,
  • All year round aquatics facility including children’s water play/splash pad area, learn to swim pool, 25 metre pool and warm water/program pool,
  • Community and function rooms,
  • Fitness areas,
  • Dedicated youth space, and
  • Integration with existing 50 metre outdoor pool throughout the summer months.

A quantity surveyor conducted initial cost estimates for the facility in 2018 based on the intermediate design to progress the project and to enable Council to prepare applications for Federal and State Government funding.

"Council was required to submit a shovel ready proposal and as such required a level of costing to be undertaken for funding purposes and preliminary planning," Mr Meddle said.

Now that the detailed design and specifications for the project have been finalised the cost will be determined through the competitive tender process.

"As with any project that is construction based, it is the open market that dictates how much the project will cost to build."

This is not dissimilar to building a house where initial plans are drawn up and then it is not until you obtain a formal quote from a builder and finalise all your selections that you get a true indication of the real cost of the build. The Community and Recreation Hub is no exception to this concept, but on a much larger scale.

“The Council also has a responsibility to the community to ensure the tender process is not compromised and that we achieve the best value from the market,” Mr Meddle said.

The select tender process is expected to be completed by the end of February 2020 with construction anticipated to commence on site shortly after. The project is on track to be completed as originally planned in late 2021.

Work on the project will continue behind the scenes during the procurement process with the contract for project management services currently being finalised and investigation of operating models underway.

“In addition to the procurement process, we are currently working to identify an operating model that will best serve the needs of the community and will determine the necessary resources required for the facility to function,” Mr Meddle said.

Overview of project timeline

Overview of project timeline

The project team will be out and about at the following locations next week:

Tuesday 10 December 2019 Civic Centre Courtyard, 10 Watson Terrace10:30am to 12:30pm
3:30pm to 5:00pm
Wednesday 11 December 2019The Riddoch and Main Corner Complex, 1 Bay Road10:30am to 12:30pm
3:30pm to 5:00pm
Thursday 12 December 2019Mount Gambier Library, 6 Watson Terrace10:30am to 12:30pm
3:30pm to 5:00pm

“We encourage interested members of the community to come along to one of these sessions to view the detailed design and palette selection and ask any questions you may have about the project,” Mayor Martin said.

There is still an opportunity to submit ideas for a name for the new facility with Mayor Martin encouraging the community to get involved.

"Name ideas can be submitted via the Community and Recreation Hub naming boxes located at the Civic Centre, Library and Main Corner Complex as well on the Have Your Say website and I encourage everyone to get their thinking caps on and get involved so we have as many creative ideas as possible to shortlist."

Further information and updates on the project are available at and interested persons can now subscribe to a newsletter via the site to receive regular updates as the project continues to progress.

The Community and Recreation Hub project has been made possible through the support of the Federal and State Government Regional Growth Funds.

Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Ashlea Watson on (08) 8721 2577 or email

First floor plan

First floor plan