The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is on track to call for tenders for its $8 million “refurbishment” of the Margaret River Aquatic Centre. The major project, which includes the potential to redevelop other areas of the Recreation Centre including the cafe, would seek tenders in May for the reconstruction effort, which will potentially take the pool and some other areas offline for about a year. Shire corporate and community development director James Shepherd told the Times design consultants had developed the plan. “The project is focused on the replacement of the structural elements, particularly the roof in the main pool hall and the foyer entrance which has reached the end of its useful life along with a refurbishment of the facilities,” he said. “Following the preparation of initial concept master plans, the Shire is identifying separate work packages to deliver the first stages of the project including a revitalised cafe. “It is anticipated that construction tenders will be called in May of 2022 with a project budget of $8m,” Mr Shepherd said. “Construction will follow later in the year although time frames will largely depend on the availability of contractors and materials.” Some volunteer-run sports were already concerned about the delays and closures affecting their activities, but Mr Shepherd said all groups were being kept informed so disruptions could be minimised where possible. The Recreation Centre entrance, foyer, change rooms and the Shire gymnasium were all in the scope of works and would be hit by the closure. Swimming Women operator Charlotte O’Beirne told the Times most people understood that any renewal project would incur delays and closures. “The facilities we have in Margaret River are fantastic, and with so many more people now living in the Shire and using the pool, its closure will be felt,” she said. “With the demands on building materials and labour supplies, we really hope that the repairs run to budget and time. “Whilst the repairs causing the building to close will be frustrating, there is never going to be a good time to do it, and the roof is in serious need of repair and this impacts more than just the pool area.” The Times understands the Shire was also developing a facilities plan to look at future recreation growth in the region.