New park & pool to open

• Cr Dave Coggin rediscovers his childhood love for skateboarding.

• Cr Dave Coggin rediscovers his childhood love for skateboarding.

IT’S a big week coming up for Fremantle with two major attractions opening: one new, another refurbished.

The long-awaited reopening of the Fremantle Leisure Centre is earmarked for Monday, 10 months after work started and three months later than hoped.

But the good news, according to the council is the centre was completed on budget, if not on time, and boasts an array on environmentally responsible innovations.

Some trumpeted features include geothermal heating, where hot water from the Leederville Aquifer (230m below the site) travels hrough heat pumps to warm the centre’s two biggest pools. Cooled water is re-injected into the aquifer via a separate bore. Water flow from the bore will be used to generate electricity to power the pumps and other energy-hungry devices.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says the innovations will reduce the council’s greenhouse profile by five per cent, equating to 260 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

The $5 million upgrade includes resurfaced pools, a new aquatic playground, access ramps to all pools, repaved concourse and new gym equipment.

Another project completed on budget is the Esplanade Youth Plaza. Scheduled to open Sunday April 13 the $1.6 million project has attracted praise from Skateboarding Australia WA state manager Ben Bowring, who says it boasts “a mix of the most popular skatepark obstacles you could ever want”.

The park will cater for several groups as well as skateboarders, including BMX and scooter aficionados, ping pong groupies and parkour fans.

The 4130sqm area—which includes 2500sqm of landscaping and about 35 new trees—also boasts a stage and viewing area and the council hopes the plaza will become a mecca for youth festivals.

Aware of lingering resentment from residents who’d mounted a fierce campaign to stop the youth park, the council says the amount of grass lost equates to just 4.5 per cent of the overall reserve, significantly less than first proposed last March. The project’s second stage will deliver a basketball quarter-court and BBQ area.

The plaza’s official opening is scheduled for noon on Sunday April 13.


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