The cost of North Sydney’s Olympic Pool rebuild has exploded to at least $89 million – $31 million more than the original estimate, according to an independent review commissioned by Council.
The controversial project is also months behind schedule, with the re-opening set down not before April 2024, a year-and-a-half beyond the original November 2022 completion date.
The Price Waterhouse Coopers report, made public last Friday, has found several external factors are responsible for the cost blowout and delay, including La Nina, supply chain issues and the discovery of hazardous material on the site.
The iconic North Sydney Olympic Pool has been closed since 2021.
The redevelopment began in March 2021, including upgrades to the indoor and outdoor pools, a new 970-seat grandstand, a children’s water play area and an expanded gym.
The report said Council had limited experience in delivering infrastructure projects of such a large scale and complex nature.
In an open letter to the community, North Sydney Mayor Zoe Baker said the findings of the independent review have made it clear “the budget for the project was not sufficient in the first place”, resulting in “false economies”.
The controversial project, plagued by delays and a cost blow out, has infuriated the community.
These included removing the external project managers, deciding to proceed with separate design and construct contracts, and not allowing a contingency that considered the risks relevant to the project, Mayor Baker said.
“Costs such as the fit out of the gym and creche required repairs to the Aqua Dining building and eastern stair tower were not included in the project, nor was sufficient funding for internal project management costs and consultancy.”