IT'S TIME to look past the pool to the park as a whole is Tamworth Regional Council's message to the public.
With the Bicentennial Park Masterplan now in its second week of public exhibition the other six key areas of the project haven't received the feedback that council would expect.
Extensive media coverage of the proposed closure of the Olympic Pool has distracted from other great aspects of the plan, council's general manager Paul Bennett said.
"It's fair to say given the media coverage a lot of the conversation has been around the swimming pool," he said.
"That's why we're trying now to say to the community, look, we will continue to have the conversation about the pool.
It's fair to say given the media coverage a lot of the conversation has been around the swimming pool.Paul Bennett
"But let's talk about the Regional Playground, the historic Number One Oval, the expansion of the pavilion, the access to the river, our monuments and all those great things this park represents."
The proposal would see the Olympic Pool site turned into an events precinct with a cafe, formal gardens, outdoor dining, amenities and a place for a temporary stage.
Opened up to Peel River, there's the potential for kayak and leisure activities, picnic facilities, a beach at the waters edge or an off-leash dog park on the western side.
There's even the possibility of a name change in the mix, to reflect a more "future-focused" city.
Council is encouraging members of the public to have their say at a series of information stands to discuss ideas.
A budget won't be drawn up for the plan until it's finalised, and Mr Bennett said now is the opportunity for residents to suggest changes.
"The important thing with any community-owned asset is that you have to have a plan to start off with so you can prioritise the things the community want and make sure you take advantage of any funding opportunities that become available," he said.
It could be up to a decade before the whole plan is delivered.
The project managers will be at the Farmer's Markets outside the Regional Playground on Saturday from 10am to midday.