Frequently asked questions – Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool

We have developed a range of frequently asked questions on the Carnegie Swim Centre redevelopment from about the project, proposed design, traffic and parking and operations and other information.

On This Page

About the project

Why is Council redeveloping the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool?

Built in 1966, the buildings and pools are now at the end of their serviceable life and need to be replaced. The filtration systems are inefficient, and the buildings cannot be easily modified to meet universal access standards. The centre needs a complete redevelopment to ensure it meets contemporary and accessibility standards and can service our growing community.

Why did Council close the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool?

In November 2020, just after the pool had opened for the summer season, a catastrophic leak was identified contributing to the loss of 150 kilolitres (150,000 litres) of water per day. When chlorinated water escapes through a leak in a pool, it can damage metal components within the pool structure and affect the stability and strength of the structure, which is why it was important the pool was either closed or repaired as soon as possible.

Why didn’t Council repair the leak found in the pool?

The cost of repairing the pool was significant and the pool would have been closed for major works during Summer. It would not have been a financially responsible decision for Council to fix the leak and then need to demolish the pool shortly after.

Is the existing centre being demolished or refurbished?

The existing centre will be demolished, with the new centre remaining within the footprint of the existing site. In keeping with the overarching Lord Reserve and Koornang Park Masterplan, the proposed design will create more useable space and improved landscaped areas.

What was the preferred option for the redevelopment of the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool from the community consultation?

From October 2019 to January 2020, 1,364 people voted, selecting one of three proposed options. Option B, a “redeveloped swim centre with indoor and outdoor pools and an outdoor diving pool” was the community’s preferred option with 73.5% of the total vote. At the Ordinary Council Meeting on the 25 February 2020, Council endorsed Option B.

What is the size and scale of the redevelopment?

The latest community consultation identified that it is important to the community that the new centre remains within the footprint, size and structure of the existing pool and does not become a larger centre equivalent to the size and scale of Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre (GESAC). The redeveloped swim centre will sit on the existing building footprint, within the existing fence lines.

What will the redevelopment include?

The latest phase of community consultation sought feedback on the detailed design. The proposed design was supported by the community. The new year-round aquatic and leisure facility will be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable pools in the world. It will be designed and constructed to a 6 Star Green Star rating with climate resilience, low energy operations and maximum water efficiency. The new facility will include:

  • indoor and outdoor pools;
  • an outdoor diving pool;
  • learn-to-swim programs, a therapeutic
  • warmwater pool and numerous allied health services;
  • a café, barbecue, and shaded seating areas;
  • allied health treatment rooms;
  • program rooms for classes such as yoga and Pilates; and
  • retention of design references to the past such as the post-war style signage, the red brick and retaining the eastern hill.

Will the redevelopment be designed to incorporate best practices for an Environmentally Sustainable Design?

Council engaged an Environmentally Sustainable Design consultant to ensure we go above and beyond the minimum standards required. We have a Community Plan commitment that five percent of the project costs will be spent on Environmentally Sustainable Design initiatives. The facility will encompass an all-electric solution which will run completely from renewable energy, incorporating significant onsite solar PV. The new facility will also be designed for climate resilience, low energy operation and water resilience – incorporating significant rainwater harvesting tanks.

The ‘earth berm’ as proposed in the current detailed design will insulate the building, enabling the centre to be much more efficient, providing additional open space for native vegetation to be planted, as well assisting to achieve the low-profile form of the building which is set into the park landscape. Urban Forest Strategy targets for canopy cover in the new carpark will also be achieved within the design.

Will Council pursue a formal Green Star certification?

Council’s recent declaration of a climate emergency and ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 has led the team to investigate the benefits of pursuing formal Green Star certification. In alignment with other local councils who are undertaking formal certification on aquatic and sports projects, the new Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool will aim to achieve a 6 Star Green Star certification.

Achieving a high Green Star rating ensures there is a higher standard of environmental quality within the new Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool and demonstrates in practice Council’s commitment to sustainable building design.

Will the redevelopment be designed to incorporate best practices for Disability Discrimination Act standards?

We will go above Disability Discrimination Act standards to enhance the user experience and ensure that every centre staff member has the skills to assist customers who have additional needs. The current design incorporates a changing places facility and universal access to all aspects of the facility.

The design also includes a splash pad which offers a fantastic experience for children of all ages and abilities.

What added value will the redevelopment bring to the community?

Our community is growing, and the redevelopment will broaden the facilities at Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool to cater for the additional all year-round demand for aquatic and leisure facilities by providing:

  • More opportunities to improve physical and mental wellbeing, specifically through learn-to-swim and other programs.
  • Improved user experience of the facilities.
  • Enhanced community feel and connectedness while still enjoying the essential elements which contribute to the current swim centre’s character
  • A more sustainable facility with improved accessibility.

The centre is designed to complement GESAC and to ease the pressure on GESACs learn to swim and warm water programming as demand has increased significantly due to growth in the municipality.

Is there a Community Reference Group for this project?

Council appointed a Community Reference Group in late 2019, consisting of 12 local representatives to help guide the project through planning, design and implementation of the Masterplan projects including the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool Redevelopment. To date, the Community Reference Group has met seven times and provided the views of residents into the project and into the recommendations before Council. Council will continue to engage with the Community Reference Group throughout the project.

Who is designing the new centre?

Council appointed CO-OP Studio to design the redevelopment. CO-OP Studio has proven experience in designing leisure and aquatic centres, multi-sports complex and pavilions including Stromlo Leisure Centre, Sunbury Aquatic Centre, La Trobe Sports Park, Peter Mathieson Pavilion and HE Parker Multi-Sports Complex. For more information on CO-OP Studio, visit

How much will the project cost?

The final cost is unclear at this stage; however, Council is expecting the redevelopment to be approximately $52m. Significant construction market impacts over the past 12 months have resulted in price uncertainty. The supply chain backlog and resource shortages due to COVID, coupled with natural disasters (flooding in northern Australia), inflation of consumer price index and global political unrest has resulted in major delays and huge price escalations for materials like steel and timber.

Will Council receive funding from the State or Commonwealth government for the project?

Since 2020, there has been several applications made for State Government funded grant programs.  In 2021, Council was notified of its successful application to the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) for grant funding of $110,000.00 to be provided for the construction and fit out of Changing Places facilities at the new centre.

The project was also successful in qualifying for funding through the 2020–21 Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme. The scheme provides low-interest, government-guaranteed loans of between $500,000 and $10m to councils, clubs, associations, educational institutions and facility managers to develop high-quality community sport and active recreation infrastructure. Council will receive a loan of $10m for the redevelopment.

Additionally, Council was successful in securing an election commitment of $15m as part of the recent Federal election and are now seeking a $10m commitment from the Victorian Government during the 2022 State election campaign.

What can I do to help?

Council needs your support to spread the word about how important this project is to our community and make it a priority during the upcoming state election campaign.

You can do simple things to raise awareness such as:

Sharing your own stories about the pool and tagging #yourpoolforlife.

Will the redevelopment accommodate year-round use?

The redevelopment will see Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool become an all-year-round aquatic and leisure facility, with a range of services for a broader section of the community, including proposed indoor pools, spas, saunas and fitness rooms to accommodate the winter months. The inclusion of the movable floor provides flexibility for an indoor lap swimming during winter, as well as the learn-to-swim program. At this stage, it is likely the outdoor 50m pool, dive pool and splash pad will only be available seasonally.

Will Council require a Town Planning Permit for this development?

A planning permit is not required.

Has Council addressed the Special Building Overlay requirements?

The consultant team engaged by Council has worked closely with Melbourne Water to address the requirements of the Special Building Overlay and has satisfied these requirements in the best interest of the project and the community.

Proposed design

What is the concept design phase?

The concept design phase establishes the ‘floor plan’ for the centre and is where we explore options for the size of key spaces, movement through the site, scale and form of buildings, and general layout. Feedback from community consultation informed the final concept design.

What is the schematic design phase?

The schematic design phase is where the concept is further refined and finalised through materials, colours, landscaping and finishes.

What is the detailed design phase?

The detailed design phase takes the approved concept and schematic design and applies extensive detail to make the plans ready for the construction phase. These plans are provided to building contractors during the tendering process, and are used by the successful contractor to build the new centre.

What phase are we in now and what happens next?

The tender process has commenced with award expected in December 2022.

Officers are also exploring the possibility of awarding an early works contract which would involve some site preparation for the main construction, including installation of temporary fencing and decommissioning and removal of some existing structures. It is anticipated this could occur as early as October 2022. 

Revised program

Key milestone Program date
Tender advertised Late September 2022
Site preparation and early works October 2022
Tender awarded December 2022
Construction commences February 2023
Centre opens Late 2024

Why can’t the pool redevelopment be broken into phases?

It is quicker and more efficient for the redevelopment to be delivered all at once. It will also cause less disruption to neighbours and other locals in the area for the construction to happen over one set period. Breaking the redevelopment into phases would also incur additional costs to the project.

Will the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool be included on the Victorian Heritage Register? How will the Pool retain its nostalgic elements?

In 2021, a member of the community submitted a Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) nomination for the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool (CMSP). Initially, the nomination was dismissed by Heritage Victoria (HV), but the nominator appealed the decision, with the Heritage Council (HC) putting aside the previous determination by HV and directing the initiation of a formal assessment by way of hearing.

During this time, Officers engaged Context (now known as GML Heritage) to undertake an independent heritage assessment of the place. The report deemed that Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool has social and historical significance at the local level and recommended that the place be included in the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay of the Glen Eira Planning Scheme as an individually significant place.

The context report suggested that the elements which contributed to the significance of the place were:

  • The rectilinear footprint and set-back entry
  • Brick materiality
  • Open landscape character which includes paved and grassed areas
  • The inclusion and location of separate intergenerational pools
  • The ‘Hill’
  • The retaining walls and steps clad in crazy paving
  • Original signage

All these elements deemed as significant have been reflected in the current plans for redevelopment.

Council received a determination from the Heritage Council on 11 August 2022 which brought the delay period of 12 months, in total, to a close.

The Heritage Council found the place of local significance, from a social perspective, but not from an architectural perspective. The place was found to be not worthy of inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register but did refer for consideration for an amendment to a planning scheme for a local overlay.

The timing for such an overlay will need to be considered amongst several other heritage projects.

Will the proposed 50m outdoor pool be the same size as the existing 50m outdoor pool?

The outdoor pool will essentially be the same size and in the same location as the existing outdoor pool, noting some minor tweaks may be needed to comply with current regulations including compliant step and ramp access into and out of the pool.

Is the proposed dive pool the same size as the existing dive pool?

The current centre has two 1m dive boards and two 3m dive boards. The proposed dive pool is a similar size to the existing dive pool however there is only one 1m dive board and one 3m dive board.

While this may seem like a reduction in the number of people who can dive per hour, it is a requirement of Lifesaving Victoria’s regulations that only one person is in the dive pool at a time, and this person must exit the pool before the next person dives. The only way to increase the number of people who can dive per hour within the regulations would be to increase the number of separate diving pools — not the number of dive boards.

Will there still be opportunities for school swimming carnivals to be held in the new facility?

In designing the new facility, Council ensured the design would allow school swimming carnivals to continue when the facility reopens. The grassed area on the Eastern Hill next to the 50m outdoor pool will be able to accommodate students, parents and teachers. There are partially shaded areas and the new internal spaces can provide protection from significant weather events.

Will there be unisex and family change room facilities?

Yes, there will also be changing places facilities.

What activities will be available for the waterplay area?

The waterplay area will offer a mix of water-based activities, water toys, and themed zones for children and families. The type of activities and toys in this area have not yet been decided.

Will there be any outdoor shaded areas?

Yes, some areas outside will be partially shaded including a section over the outdoor 50m pool. Additionally, there will be dedicated wet weather protection areas located near the café. At certain times of the day there will be a shadow on the outdoor pool cast by the swim centre. The building will start casting a shadow on the pool from approximately 5.30pm, and the pool will be completely shaded over by 8pm. The outdoor pool has been designed so that it will receive maximum sunlight throughout the day.

Will the proposed design incorporate entrances from both parks and is there potential for indoor/outdoor entrances?

The new centre will establish connections with the reserves broadly, with the main entrance to the centre off the existing car park.

Is there going to be seating and bike paths included in the landscaping process?

The existing hill has been retained and additional shade structures have been proposed in the detailed design to protect the turf and provide covered area for patrons.

What landscaping will be incorporated into the redevelopment?

The redevelopment has been designed to upgrade the landscaping with planting of additional trees and additional landscape features such planters. Additional green spaces and native vegetation have also been proposed around the earth berms and through the open space within the facility. There will be a colourful wildflower garden located outside of the entrance to the centre. Maintaining and encouraging biodiversity is at the forefront of this project and the outdoor landscaping has been considered carefully.

Will existing trees be retained?

The design aims to retain existing trees where possible but unfortunately some will need to be removed to facilitate better open space for the swim centre’s users. During construction there will be a total of 32 trees that will be removed:

  • 17 trees along the Lyons Street carpark
  • 11 trees in the Moira Avenue carpark
  • 4 trees in the outdoor area of the pool along Munro Ave

However, 66 trees will be replanted to make up for the loss of those that need to be removed. The landscape architects have worked closely with the design team and Council to formulate the repopulation of more trees. Biodiversity within the site will have significantly increased at the completion of this project.

What consideration has been given to the noise generated by the plant room for nearby neighbours?

During the concept design phase, the community supported the proposal of earth berms as they not only help in retaining the heritage and character of the space but also act as a natural sound barrier. The earth will act as acoustic insulation and prevent excessive noise for nearby neighbours.

In the approved current design, will the loading dock and plant room be accessed directly from Lyons Street?

No. The loading dock and plant room will be accessed directly from the reconfigured carpark.

Can the proposed redevelopment incorporate a green roof with landscaping or solar panels for sustainability purposes?

In line with our commitment to Environmentally Sustainable Design, we are exploring opportunities to incorporate sustainable features with the aim to power the entre entirely from renewable energy. Further work is being undertaken to understand what is possible for this centre.

Will the café be open to the public or exclusively for pool users only?

The café will be open to anyone who would like to come into the centre including pool users or people who just want to purchase something from the café. We are also exploring the possibility of a portable coffee pod that can be wheeled out in front of the café at peak times, making it easier for park users or visitors to purchase a coffee and/or snack.

Will more barbeques be made available?

The number of barbeques is yet to be confirmed.

When will works start and when will they be completed?

Construction is anticipated to commence in February 2023. The new centre is expected to be open by late 2024.

Has there been a change in the project commencement and delivery date?

Yes. The construction has now been scheduled for early 2023, with the centre to open by late 2024. This is significantly later than originally planned primarily due to a member of the community submitting a Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) nomination for CMSP. Council received a determination from the Heritage Council on 11 August 2022 which brought the delay period of 12 months, in total, to a close.

How will construction impacts be mitigated?

All major infrastructure and building projects present construction risk. The contractor for the redevelopment will be required to develop a construction management and environmental management plan which will include measures to mitigate impacts of construction on the surrounding residents, for the duration of the redevelopment. These mitigation measures are likely to consider the timing of works, traffic impacts and management, waste management and acoustic measures.

Any removal of soil during the construction will be done safely, in line with the strict guidelines enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the contractor’s environmental management plan. This will be to ensure any existing contamination risks are mitigated.

Where can I view the approved design?

The design is available for the community to view:

Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool Facility Plan (PDF 3.7Mb)

Traffic and parking

What did the recent parking and traffic analysis find?

Council appointed traffic consultants One Mile Grid to collect current traffic and parking data in the local area, and to undertake extensive modelling to predict future changes to local traffic and parking because of the new centre. The analysis found future traffic volumes, parking supply and intersection performance will be well within the relevant guidelines and will not create excessive issues.  The work of One Mile Grid was peer-reviewed by another traffic consultancy, Traffix, to ensure the methodology and findings were robust and that the community could have confidence in the findings.

Council has also worked closely with the Community Reference Group to understand the day-to-day experience of local residents. The group has identified a number of opportunities to improve local traffic and parking and each suggestion is being considered as part of a local traffic study, by Council’s traffic engineering team.

The traffic and parking reports were shared with the community as part of the last consultation. Development of an integrated transport plan is also underway to identify environmentally friendly ways to travel to the redeveloped centre.

When did the traffic data collection take place and why were those specific days selected?

Careful consideration was given to when and how traffic and parking data was collected to ensure the best possible data collection was obtained within the everyday limitations of the local area including weather, and local events. The data collection was undertaken during the winter in 2019 and early summer 2019 and late summer 2020. Days and periods of higher demand were selected to obtain an accurate understanding of the current traffic and parking patterns.

Will there be more parking once the pool is open?

Yes, there will be more parking available in the area when the new centre opens due to the Lord Reserve Koornang Park Masterplan proposing additional parking bays in Munro Avenue and Lyons Street. The existing number of parking spaces in the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool will be retained in a reconfigured carpark. The final Lord Reserve Koornang Park Masterplan is available for the community to review.

Will the redevelopment have sufficient parking to accommodate the forecast peak demand for parking?

Yes. The detailed parking projections set out in the report shows that the carpark and nearby precinct parking provides sufficient parking for visitors to the Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool and other users of the Lord Reserve and Koornang Park precinct in summer and winter. 

What public transport will be available to access the pool?

The Traffic Impact Assessment report concludes that the site has excellent public transport access including Glen Huntly and Carnegie train stations, the No.67 tram and a number of bus routes.

What is Council’s environmental drive to reduce car parking and encourage bikes or carpooling?

Council has recently declared a climate emergency with the ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. This will help to guide decision making regarding the redevelopment.

Has Council made a decision about closing Moira Avenue yet?

Council will revisit the statutory processes for the closure of Moira Avenue when the centre is open and the real data is available to assess the site conditions

Operations and other

Where can I swim now the pool is closed?

While the centre is closed for redevelopment, GESAC will be available.

Will there be an affordable resident membership?

The pricing structure and model is yet to be decided. One of the focuses for all Glen Eira Leisure facilities is to provide value for the community and there will be a range of different and flexible membership types on offer.

What will the hours of operation be throughout the year?

No decision has been made yet, but the operational model is something we will consider further towards the new facility opening.

Will swimming lessons be offered?

The new centre will include programs such as learn-to-swim, there is a huge demand for these programs in our community with waiting lists at GESAC.

What sort of consultancy offices are envisaged?

The tenants are yet to be established however, the two rooms can be used for Allied Health services including physiotherapy or other operators that might use the indoor program rooms.

What broader amenities will be offered?

The redevelopment will see Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool become an all-year-round aquatic and leisure facility, with a range of services for a broader section of the community, including proposed indoor pools, spas, saunas and fitness rooms to accommodate the winter months. This will allow the centre to provide programs such as learn-to-swim, and targeted programs to meet specific community health needs, delivering a range of physical and mental health benefits for decades to come.

Getting involved

How was previous community feedback used?

Council has incorporated community feedback received from every phase of consultation to inform the current design. This specifically includes the floorplan and inclusion of pool configurations, landscaping, materials and elements to be retained from the existing centre.

How can I get more information?

Council will continue to inform the community about the design and delivery of the redevelopment through Council's website, social media channels and letter drops.