Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre is located at Penshurst Park, Penshurst. The land occupied by the complex was originally set aside for a housing subdivision in the 1880s. Unfortunately, the land was often wet and swamp-like due to its location at the bottom of a hill and was instead proclaimed as a park in 1908. Since then, many improvements and developments have taken place, and the land has been put to many different uses.
Early in its time as a park, local residents, led by the Peakhurst Improvement Association, assisted the NSW State Government to fill and drain the park, improving the viability of the area.
In 1911, the St George Cricket Club began using the park as a practice area as well as a venue for competition matches. The Hurstville Mayor at the time, Alderman Alfred Leslie Blackshaw, was an avid supporter of the cricket club, and the Blackshaw Pavilion which was subsequently built on the site was an acknowledgement of his contribution to local cricket.
During the 1950s, Penshurst Park was made available for a range of sports including soccer, baseball and cricket. There was also a bowling club on the site. The park was first suggested by Hurstville Council engineers as a site for a swimming centre, however, the aquatic complex was not officially opened until some 37 years later.
On 5 December 1995, the Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre was officially opened by Hurstville Mayor Councillor Peter Olah. The $5.2 million facility included a 25 metre lap pool, leisure pool, spa, sauna, café, crèche facilities, and an outdoor tropical garden area. The new centre proved extremely popular with the local community, with 234,000 visits to the complex during 2000.
On 20 February 2004, a $9.28 million expansion to the centre was opened by Hurstville Mayor Councillor Vince Badalati. The expansion project included a new indoor sports stadium, named the Johnny Warren Sporting Centre in honour of the local soccer legend.
The new multi-purpose stadium was suitable for karate, kung-fu, indoor soccer, aerobics, badminton, netball, indoor touch football, gymnastics, and baton twirling, with the capacity to host three basketball games simultaneously. The 2004 development also included the addition of a toddler pool and a gymnasium.
A further expansion was opened on 23 June 2013 by Hurstville Mayor Councillor Steve McMahon. Additions included a family change room, on-deck showers, crèche, spin room, lockers, and toilets.
Hurstville City Council Minutes:
St George & Sutherland Shire Leader
, 26 June 2012,p. 3
Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre Hurstville Council 2004. p.3