The $57 million Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) is the centrepiece of the Latrobe Valley Authority’s $85 million sports and infrastructure package.
It will allow Latrobe City Council to fulfil its long held desire for a facility of this type for its constituents.
The centre will feature a range of facilities for competitive swimming, leisure, general community use and major regional events, including an eight lane 50 metre indoor swimming pool with 500 spectator seats.
The GRAC will also include:
- Indoor water play zone
- Warm water therapy pool with spa
- Designated learn to swim pool
- Sauna and steam rooms
- Wellness centre
- Café and retail precinct
- Gymnasium and group fitness rooms
- Wet and dry change facilities
- 25 metre outdoor pool
- Geothermal heating
- 2 large water slides
On top of $46 million in State Government funding, an additional $8 million has been loaned to Latrobe City Council from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Community Sports Infrastructure loan scheme to ensure all desired components of the project are included.
This, combined with a contribution of up to $3 million from LCC, meant the 25 metre outdoor pool, geothermal infrastructure and water slides could be included in the final scope of the project.
This project has strong community support, and was designed in consultation with local residents, key user groups and stakeholders.
What’s happening now?
The foundation and structural base forming.
The site as of late August 2020.
The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre is coming along swimmingly and is on track to open in early 2021. Inside works are well underway including plastering, painting and tiling.
All of the centre’s five pools have now been installed with internal concourses poured and screeding and drainage being installed prior to floor tiling.
The outdoor 25m pool pipework has gone in and surrounding works are continuing. Glazing installation is continuing with works undertaken by Morwell Shop Fitters.
The large internal aqua play zone is being constructed and will, no doubt, provide hours of entertainment. Road installation is occurring to the west of the centre with works by local company, Fowlers Asphalting.
The aqua play area under construction.
The slide tower to the east of the centre can be seen from afar and once complete, will be clad in polycarbonate sheeting.
Other local contractors working on the project include:
- Moncur Civil
- GBG Concrete
- Miller’s Plumbing
- CME Installations
- Law & Somerville
- Carpet Country
There are several other local suppliers and smaller contractors who are also involved in the project.
Click here for the latest construction update video: https://youtu.be/SXoYCxyY2UQ
Once complete the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre will include:
- Competition pool: 8 Lane x 51.5 metre with moveable boom
- 500 spectator seats
- Large indoor water play zone
- Large warm water therapy pool with spa and hydro zone
- Learn to swim / leisure pool
- Sauna & steam rooms
- Gymnasium and three group fitness rooms
- 2 x large water slides
- Wellness Centre
- 25 m outdoor heated pool
- Geothermal heating
- Café & retail space
- Car parking, landscaping, public lighting & security
Concept artwork for the 25 metre outdoor pool
Council worked with key stakeholders including Swimming Victoria to refine the scope of the aquatics components along with a nine-person Project Reference Group (PRG), taking inspiration and learnings from comparable centres across the state.
Feedback from community consultation was utilised in developing plans, with the Latrobe City community highlighting an indoor warm water pool, spa and sauna as the top priorities beyond a 50 metre indoor pool with seating.
The Industry Capability Network and GROW Gippsland have been engaged extensively in order to maximise local content on the project and have assisted with the tendering process.
The PRG will continue to act as a key conduit between Council and community in the planning and delivery of the GRAC.
Geothermal heating project
The production bore neighbouring the GRAC is working well.
Designed to have a strong sustainability focus, the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre will be the first public aquatic facility in Victoria to incorporate a geothermal heating system.
An environmentally friendly sustainable energy source, geothermal energy will assist in significantly reducing carbon footprint while also aiding in annual energy costs savings.
The system taps in to the aquifer below ground in Traralgon at a depth of more than 600 metres where the ground water is about 65 degrees Celsius.
The heat energy from the water is taken off via a heat exchanger and the cooled water is reinjected back down into the aquifer at about 40 degrees.
The production & injection bores are now complete and testing has confirmed that the bores function well.
Drilling for the geothermal heating project was undertaken by local company Drilltec.
The geothermal pipeline has been installed and mechanical implementation works are being undertaken by Laser Plumbing and AusGeothermal from Traralgon.
Click here for a video exploring the geothermal system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MZkOzvgYOI
Traralgon Croquet Club
The grass is greener for the Traralgon Croquet Club (TCC) on the other side of a move to the Glenview Park sporting precinct.
An agreement was reached between Latrobe City Council and TCC to develop a new croquet facility alongside the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club and Latrobe Valley Racing Club at McNairn Road.
The previous Breed Street centre was more than 60 years old and had limited capacity to host large events and simultaneous play.
The new site includes lighting to enable evening play, a new clubhouse and courts designed to maximise local usage and attract major competitions.
Construction is now complete and the new facility is in use by the club, with an official opening staged on 10 July.
The former croquet club site will be utilised as part of the GRAC development.
Planning and design: 2018
Construction start: March 2019
Completion: December 2020
Funding: $57 million