Just over a year after it opened with fanfare, polka dots and retro swimwear, the North Beach Bathers’ Pavilion has won an award from the NSW Australian Property Institute.
Wollongong City Council took out the Preston Rowe Paterson Local Government Award last Thursday for the redevelopment of the pavilion, which opened on September 30 last year after a $13.9 million facelift.
The pavilion’s upgrade included a new pedestrian promenade and retaining walls, a viewing platform, replacement of the sea wall, showers, a parents’ room and a new cafe.
Husband and wife Phil and Kate Mcilwraith have frequented North Beach more often since the pavilion’s upgrade.
Mr Mcilwraith said the new design catered for his family and was ‘‘fantastic for the community’’.
‘‘I walk my baby early on Sunday mornings and we go along the walkway,’’ he said.
‘‘We live at Farmborough Heights so we make this special trip to come out here.
‘‘I also think the design of the pavilion is nice, it’s kept its heritage but also made it contemporary.
‘‘I’d just like to have a bit more shade for the area.’’
Mrs Mcilwraith said the cleanliness of the toilet and change room facilities was ‘‘important for me as a mother’’.
The family also enjoyed the greater variety of food options with the cafe and its pizzas, she said.
One of the cafe owners, Lorraine Mercuri, said business had been ‘‘pretty good’’ since they opened last year.
The cafe will increase its opening hours to seven days a week in summer.