About the project

It's time to re-imagine, re-shape and upgrade Olympic Leisure Centre (OLC) in Heidelberg West and we want your help.

The centre has been closed since April 2021 due to Covid19 restrictions and repair works works to fix leaking pools. The centre is old and rundown and needs to be upgraded. The pools are almost at the end of their life and the centre continues to see a decline in members, casual users and in particular, pool users.

Imagine OLC in the future

We know that the traditional leisure centre model is not really working, and the community wants to see other services, and programs available in this area.

We have a unique opportunity to re-imagine and upgrade OLC to be more in line with what the community wants and needs, today and into the future.

To achieve this, Council is proposing

  • Not to have pools, sauna or spa at OLC in the longer term
  • To work with the community to design a new facility that is valued and well-utilised by the local community

Designing together

A Co-design team made up of local people from Heidelberg West will take ideas from the wider community and work together with Council to design a concept for a new facility.

Get involved

There are a number of ways to get involved in this project:

Nominate to join the Co-design Team

  • Council is asking Heidelberg West community members to nominate to be part of a Re-imagine OLC Co-Design Team to build on all the previous feedback and to work with Council, and key stakeholders to help shape a re-imagined facility.
  • The Co-Design Team will meet four times between November and February, with draft concept plan developed for the centre in March 2022.

Online Feedback (on this page)

  • Tell us about your experiences of Olympic Leisure Centre; what you have loved about it and what you have found challenging
  • Give us your ideas and they will be shared with the Co-design team to discuss

Activation and engagement activities January 2022

  • In January 2022 we will run activities based on the types of things you want to see in a new centre.
  • This will be a chance to test ideas about some of the spaces and experiences you want in the area and to get more feedback from you.
  • These activities will be planned in line with Covid safe protocols and may be on site and/or online.
  • We will advertise and promote activities via Social media and on this project page – Follow this project page to get updates on when events are happening near you!

Our approach

Big picture objectives

  • To undertake an engagement and co-design program with the community that explores the re-imagining of the OLC and provides a new vision and plan for the future of this facility.
  • Transform OLC from a leisure and aquatic facility into a space that aligns with communities current and future needs
  • Strengthen links and synergies with complementary services and programs in the area

This project involves three main components. These components are interconnected and happening at the same time yet have separate outcomes.

Short term: Activation of Olympic Village Precinct
Activities for the Heidelberg West community commencing in January 2022 that support the reimagining process.

Short to medium term: Re-imagining OLC Co-design Process
A co-design process to re-imagine the Olympic Leisure Centre with the community and key stakeholders with the establishment of a community OLC Co-design Team, chaired by the Ward Councillor.

Long term: Heidelberg West Key Partners Collaborative Working Group
The establishment of a Key Partners Collaborative Working Group to support the Olympic Leisure Centre project and to start exploring and planning longer-term possibilities for Heidelberg West.


Background information & Project Principles

  • A timeline of the story so far takes us through the rich history of Heidelberg West and provides key background information that has inspired the approach for this exciting project to come to life.
  • Learning from what has worked in the past, the OLC facility will be reimagined for the needs of our Heidelberg West community today, and for long-term benefit. Council values the community and its diversity, and the proud history of advocating for what they need.

Reimagining Olympic Leisure Centre Project Principles

The following principles are aligned with the Banyule Community Vision and will be used to guide the Reimagining project:

  • Sustainable & connected - in harmony with the natural environment,interfaces with the public realm, supports economic and social prosperity, and is delivered in a financially responsible way.
  • For everyone - upholds the rights of everyone, creates opportunities to participate, improves access experiences for all and promotes equity.
  • Flexible - adaptable to meet changing needs; supports intergenerational use; used for multiple purposes; unlocks opportunity for use; promotes innovative uses over time.
  • Transformational – designed to build community wealth, celebrate culture and history, support people to discover their potential.
  • Predictive & proactive - proactively responds to the diversity of communities & emerging community need; strives to uplift health,wellbeing & liveability over the long term; achieves ongoing safety and quality standards; integrates new technology to improve useability.
  • Collaborative – we will pursue initiatives that aspire to achieve significant, community-wide progress on complex, systemic issues by enlisting and engaging key partners to work together toward a shared vision.