New builder appointed for new Kensington Community Recreation Centre

New builder appointed for new Kensington Community Recreation Centre
Brendan Rees

The company behind the Wheeler Centre development at the State Library of Victoria has been appointed as the builder of the $42 million redevelopment of the Kensington Community Recreation Centre (KCRC).

McCorkwell Constructions won the job of redeveloping the centre, which will include a 25-metre pool, three indoor multi-sports courts, a children’s water play area, and a wrap-around cafe.

It will also feature a gym, health, and wellness spaces, and three large flexible spaces as well as amenities suitable for a range of classes and community use.

Having served the community since 1976, the City of Melbourne identified a dire need to upgrade the KCRC to meet the community’s diverse needs.

The existing centre will be demolished to make way for the new centre, with the project expected to be finished by 2023. 

After closing its doors to the public in August, the centre has been emptied and the pool drained in preparation for works to begin.

The City of Melbourne said it had relocated most gym equipment to the North Melbourne Community Centre for members to access, while other items had been donated to community groups and local charities.

Fitness classes have been added to the North Melbourne Community Centre and Kensington Town Hall to help the community stay active while the centre was redeveloped.

Two steel sculptures of eels at the centre, which were created for the opening ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games before being rehomed at KCRC, have also been safely removed and placed into storage.

The City of Melbourne said the sculptures would be incorporated into the new centre following demand from the community.

The redevelopment will include sustainable designs and better integration of JJ Holland Park which will not be impacted by the project.

The council said works to prepare the site for demolition would continue into early 2022 and would inform the community of updates including disruptions ahead of time, and traffic management.

The City of Melbourne endorsed the final concept design for the new centre in December 2020.

McCorkwell Constructions was announced as the preferred builder following a competitive tender process. Its projects in the past include the St Kilda Pier Kiosk and revamping Government House •

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