Although 'officially' opened over the weekend, the new Andrew (Boy) Charlton Indoor Swim Centre and gym will not be opened to the public until early August.
.Former Mayor of Manly, Jean Hay, officially opened the new Swim Centre in the presence of former Olympians, amateur swimmers, the Premier and Local Member Mike Baird and other official guests, while a number of determined local residents held a peaceful protest outside.
Touring the vast facility one had to be impressed by the expanse of space, the open-air feeling and attention to detail in the internal design. A number of large 'portholes' look either out onto the outdoor pools, into the pumping station, or overlook Graham Reserve.
However, concerns about the revenue that will need to be generated to operate the facility (as well as pay off the $15m loan included in the estimated total cost of $26m) was in the backs of the minds of many as they observed the large gym with state-of-the-art equipment; a spa; sauna; creche area and three sparkling-clean pools. The additional staff bill of $900,000.00 pa to operate the Centre was also revealed this week by the Northern Beaches Council as part of its 2016/17 budget.
Undeterred, regular swimmers did laps outside in the original 50 metre and 25 metre pools in the cool June sunshine.
The Swim Centre will be closed for its usual winter maintenance on June 24 reopening in the first week of August.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.