Windsor's new aquatic centre will get a $500,000 makeover before a shovel even breaks ground.

City council on Monday night approved exterior changes to the centre's design. It said the money spent will be worth it.

Councillors thought the original design's exterior was not sophisticated enough for the city centre.

Bill Marra said the new look will make the project a signature building.

'This is the type of building that belongs in our city centre.' — Coun. Bill Marra

"I think this is what we were looking to be inspired by a few months ago," he said. "I think, collectively, we expressed a number of concerns around the renderings we saw before.

"This is the type of building that belongs in our city centre," Marra said of the new design.

Project manager Don Sadler didn't particularly like the original design of the aquatic centre.

"[When] the original one was presented, I think you might have had confusion as to where do I enter this building?" Sadler said.

The facade has been enhanced with a glass wall that allows more natural light to enter the building.

The money for the upgrade will come from a $2.9-million contingency fund that was previously created to cover unexpected costs.

Water park delayed

There is also a new timeline for construction of the $77-million project.

Sadler said the ground breaking is still more than a month away.

"We expect to be digging on the site sometime in March," he said.

The city still plans to have the 50-metre swimming pool completed in time for the 2013 International Children's Games that summer.

However, families will have to wait to use the water park. It will not be ready until December 2013.