Thank you for the contribution to date to the Fitness Centre Review. The survey had over 200 responses and the consultation process engaged with all the user groups. Watch this space for the outcomes of the survey and community engagement. Next steps include more detailed schematic plans which will incorporate user feedback and feature several design modifications.

We hope to share this toward the end of March.

Ararat Rural City Council have launched the below online survey to gain feedback from the community that will help shape a feasibility study to guide future redevelopment of the Ararat Fitness Centre.

The survey will occur concurrently with focus group consultations that Council are hosting throughout January and February with existing user groups and sporting clubs.

Council CEO, Dr Tim Harrison said that community input would be vital in shaping the redevelopment of the centre into a modern, accessible sports hub that increases programming and participation.

“While the Fitness Centre has served the community well, the aging infrastructure is not up to modern standards to accommodate the range of programming needed for a vibrant and growing community,” Dr Harrison said.

Home to a 25-metre indoor pool, basketball courts, gymnasium, aerobics/gymnastics facilities and squash courts, Council is seeking feedback from current users as well as those in the community who face barriers to accessing the facility.

“The Ararat economy is growing rapidly, changing the way people live and work, influencing the type of recreation facilities they need and when they are available,” Dr Harrison continued.

“What we need to hear from the community is what services are currently working well and identify any barriers to participation that could be addressed as part of a redevelopment of the centre.

“With Ararat’s outdoor activities particularly impacted by the colder months, we want to maximise the diversity of programming offered and equity of access for young people and older people alike.

“The footprint and heritage considerations of the current facility will create limitations in the size and scope of any redevelopment, but I expect we will get some great feedback from the community on how we can better utilise some of the spaces.”

The Ararat Fitness Centre survey will close on 5:00pm Monday 28 February 2022.

Ararat Rural City Council is looking at how we can improve the Ararat Fitness Centre.

These preliminary plans and schematics are drawn from a 2019 internal study, looking at solutions to the built environment and how it could respond to issues around inclusive access, safety and improved programming. These plans now provide the basis for further community consultation to ensure they meet the needs of our community.

Ararat Rural City Council will be reaching out to user groups and interested members of the community to build on these design ideas and help inform how the Centre will operate into the future.