Works have started on a major $3M project to transform the former Municipal Baths in Rosalind Park into an attractive urban park with a lakeside loop track and boardwalk.
The Municipal Baths are located on the rise between the Faith Leech Aquatic Centre and the adjacent bowls and croquet clubs in Rosalind Park and are currently not accessible to the public.
This project will renew the site with new infrastructure and open it up for community use.
The project will include the following works:
- Works to stabilise the dam wall that forms part of the adjacent laneway
- Removal of perimeter fencing
- Relocation of the Ibis and removal of the island under the guidance of the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
- Sludge removal and water quality improvements
- Installation of irrigated lawn areas, park seating and pedestrian lighting
- Planting of shade trees and attractive park landscaping
- Construction of a loop walking path and installation of a board walk on the eastern side of the water body
- Construction of a picnic shelter at the Gaol Road end of the water body. (subject to this fitting within the existing fixed project budget)
- Preliminary works have started. These works involve de-watering the water body, clearing of low-value and weed species vegetation, and, in coming months, the removal of the island and de-sludging works
- Dam wall stabilising and landscape construction works are expected to start in late 2023/early 2024
- Pedestrian laneway will be closed prior to construction works starting and will remain closed for the duration of the construction period(alternate route about 50 metres down from laneway
- The project is expected to be completed before the end of 2024
Frequently asked questions
The redevelopment project is a key action in the of the Rosalind Park Precinct Master Plan (2014), which recommends opening up and restoring the site for the use and enjoyment of the wider community.
The site is also not currently accessible to the public and this project will provide a new space for local residents to recreate and enjoy.
The Municipal Baths were constructed in 1912-13 on the site of an existing dam as Bendigo’s primary location for swimming and bathing until the development of the adjacent Faith Leech Aquatic Centre in the 1950's.
Originally more than twice its current size the former Municipal Baths facility featured change rooms, training infrastructure, jetty's and a grandstand. The current water body was fenced off to the public in the 1980's.
The anticipated cost of the project is approximately $3 million. The project will be funded by the City of Greater Bendigo.
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccu) are a protected native species under the Wildlife Act (1975).
This wading bird of the Ibis family is found across much of Australia. Their preferred habitats include swamps, lagoons, floodplains and grasslands but they sometimes inhabit urban parks, gardens and water bodies such as the old Municipal Baths.
Ibis are very good at exploiting the availability of food sources in urban environments and this can create some management challenges.
Australian White Ibis nest in large colonies and can rear one or two broods in a year.
Moving the birds on while they are nesting is illegal and the City of Greater Bendigo will work closely with the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action to move the birds away from the site after their breeding season has finished.
The project has been delayed because of the world-wide rising cost of building materials and material supply chains due to the COVID pandemic which meant the project could not be achieved in the budget that had been set.
In order for the project to fit within its $3.0 million budget the design of the project has been revisited with some features originally proposed now removed from the project scope.
Another factor for the delay is that works can only commence when the Ibis breeding season has finished and this is a narrow window.
The laneway forms part of the municipal baths dam wall and will remain closed for the duration of the works.
Please use the alternative laneway some 50 metres away and located between the Bowling Club and the old tennis courts.
The project has had the following changes:
- Construction of a larger shelter/BBQ/water play area on the Barnard Street side of the water body is no longer part of the initial project
- Construction of a smaller shelter at the Gaol Road end of the water body will be dependent on it fitting within the scope of the existing budget
- Installation of a terraced seating amphitheatre on the northern side of the water body will no longer be part of the initial project