A GRAND plan to build an indoor pool and revamp Albury Sportsground is being championed by an urban designer.
Andrew Boyd Barber, who grew up on the Border and works in Scotland, has created images showing how an indoor centre could be erected alongside the existing Olympic pool.
He has also depicted an expanded sportsground capable of hosting AFL matches.
“Hopefully now visually through these images we can have a more in-depth debate and it changes it from ‘can we afford it?’ to ‘what is the best solution and how will it look?’,” Mr Boyd Barber said.
His proposal comes as Albury Council seeks public input on plans for a new aquatics centre and improvements to Lavington Oval.
Mr Boyd Barber said there would be efficiencies to having a new pool at the existing site and it was more attractive than Lauren Jackson stadium.
“You've got a potential pool next to an industrial estate and under a flight path against a pool next to the Murray River and the botanic gardens,” Mr Boyd Barber said.
“I do understand it is a long shot, but you've got to look 50 years into the future to make a decision like this.
“Fifty years into the future Albury could be double the size and I don't see a successful stadium being on the edge of town near a tip, I see a successful stadium being in the middle of the city.”
Mr Boyd Barber noted the city stated in a vision it wanted to embrace the river and its aquatics strategy labelled Lavington Oval as “isolated” for a new pool.
“Council should take this advice further and reconsider the upgrade at Lavington Oval altogether,” he said.
He said an upgraded Albury Sportsground could also see the nearby council works depot redeveloped into car parking and the botanic gardens spread over a shut-off Smollett Street.
Netball courts would be relocated from the Wodonga Place side of the oval to near the Smollett Street bridge.
Mr Boyd Barber, a former Albury High School student, said he planned to put his proposals to the council as part of its consultation on the Lavington Oval and pool.
“We do need to look at town planning and urban design and how our city is shaped in the future,” Mr Boyd Barber said.
“It's the difference between a good proposal and an amazing proposal.”