WORK is anticipated to start on the Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre as early as next month.
While major construction on the upgrade will take place during the 2020 winter season, a number of other projects - including the investigation of leakage in the 50m outdoor pool and the demolition of the outdoor Learn to Swim and Toddler pools, relocation of services and pressure testing - are scheduled to begin in December.
The masterplan, which was adopted by Muswellbrook Shire Council this year after extensive community consultation, oversees an ambitious and exciting renovation of one of the town's popular facilities, according to general manager Fiona Plesman.
"The most significant features [of the development] are the refurbishment of the existing 50m outdoor pool and construction of a state-of-the-art indoor area featuring a water activity park, Learn to Swim and Therapy pool, new entrance and foyer, kiosk, dry play party room and viewing deck," she said.
"The outdoor 50m pool, indoor pool and fitness centre will remain open during the early works program, although access to some areas of the facility will be restricted.
"Learn to Swim classes will be held in the outdoor pool over eight weeks of the first term next year and scheduled swim carnivals will proceed as planned.
"The upgrade of the fitness centre - to allow 24/7 access - is expected to be completed as part of the major works program."
Council was successful with several grant funding applications to support the redevelopment.
It received $1 million towards the water activity park from the Stronger Country Communities Fund and $900,000 to the Learn to Swim and Therapy pool from the Ridgeland's Community Fund.
"We're keen to get the upgrade underway," Ms Plesman said.
"While the early works program will be an inconvenience for some users during the investigation, demolition and construction phases, council is hopeful that the redevelopment's end result will overcome any disruption on the way through.
"The upgrade to the centre will benefit all ages.
"And, when completed, it'll be a wonderful space for community members to gather, exercise and socialise.
"We ask for residents' patience and understanding during the early works program, which will pave the way for the main construction period next winter."