The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) is the centrepiece of the Latrobe Valley Authority’s $85 million sports and infrastructure package.
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 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?
Work is underway on the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre.
ADCO Constructions took control of the site on 18 March and have made significant progress since.
The outdoor pool has been drained and demolished, along with the clubrooms, kiosk and pool buildings with bulk earthworks continuing and piling to follow.
A Geothermal heating system will be installed to provide cheap and sustainable heating to the new swimming pools and the air in the buildings.
The system will tap in to the aquifer below Traralgon at a depth of more than 600 metres below ground 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.
Drilling for the geothermal heating project is due to commence late July 2019 (click here for a video exploring the geothermal system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MZkOzvgYOI
A concrete crusher was recently on site recycling material from the demolition of the pools and buildings for use on site.
An 18 month construction phase is projected with a completion date of late 2020 for an early 2021 opening.
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 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.
At the height of the build, it is anticipated there will be up to 120 workers on site including strong representation from local sub-contractors.
GRAC will use 90 per cent local content as a designated Victorian Industry Participation Policy initiative.
The PRG will continue to act as a key conduit between Council and community in the planning and delivery of the GRAC.
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 of the facility 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