Grand plan for mult-million dollar aquatic centre

GYMPIE swimmers and families could be enjoying the luxuries of a $20 million aquatic centre - including a 10-lane, 50m competition pool, water slide, splash pad and six-lane, 25m indoor heated pool - in less than two years.

The ambitious project to make Gympie a regional aquatic destination took a big step forward this week when Gympie Regional Council formally adopted a concept plan for the Tozer Park Rd development and sent off its funding submissions to the State and Federal Governments.

Mayor Ron Dyne says he would like to see the centre built and open for business by early 2016.

"The current (Memorial) pool is almost 60 years old and below the standard found in most regional centres. One of council's key responsibilities is to provide a range of services which support the well-being of its residents," he said.

The concept plan adopted this week also includes an "optional" hydrotherapy pool, coffee shop, an area set aside for "other" water slides and a 250sq m leisure pool.

Cr Rae Gate, who heads the council's social well-being portfolio, has visited six similar waterparks around the state in recent months as part of the council's research into the project.

She said this week the Rockhampton council had contributed $5 million towards its aquatic centre, the State Government $5 million and the Federal Government $7 million.

Cr Gate said a park in Gladstone of similar scale to Gympie's also features a splash zone for children like the one proposed for Gympie.

WATERWORLD: The concept plan for Gympie’s $20 million aquatic centre in Tozer Park Rd, on the site of the old Gympie council depot.
WATERWORLD: The concept plan for Gympie’s $20 million aquatic centre in Tozer Park Rd, on the site of the old Gympie council depot. Contributed

That splash zone has proven to be so popular it generated $70,000 in income in its first three months, she added.

A splash pad or spray pool is a recreation area for water play for children under 12 that has little or no standing water. It can include things like ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad's raindeck and /or other water features such as a large bucket that slowly fills up and empties out, like the one at Wet'n'Wild's Buccaneer Bay on the Gold Coast.

Cr Mick Curran said his earlier concerns about the location (on the old council depot site in Tozer Park Rd) were not shared by the rest of the council and he now endorsed the centre, though he was concerned about the ongoing costs.

Those costs are expected to be high due to the high-standard facility the council hopes to build.

A council report on the project this week pointed out that "while it may be possible to try and reduce that cost, given the facility will have a life of in excess of 50 years and cater for a population more than double of what the region has now, building a minimal facility would be short sighted".

LEGEND

1. 50m, 10-lane competition pool

2. Seating berm

3. Pool deck

4. Shade structure over seating berm & pool

5. Swim club

6. Viewing deck

7. Storage

8. Filter yard

9. Plantroom (all pools) - under swim club

10. Leisure pool (250 sq m)

11. 25m, 6-lane indoor program pool

12. Program pool enclosure

13. Entry

14 PWD access ramp

15. Life guard station

16. Area for water slides (by others)

17. Storm water catchment drain

18. Dry creek bed

19. Bridge over dry creek bed

20. Deck to edge of dry creek bed

21. Central access Spine

22. Activity area

23. BBQ

24. Shade structures

25. Landscaped areas

26. External concourse

27. Taxi drop off

28. Bus drop off

29. Road

30. Existing carpark retained (optional)

31. Existing footpath

32. New footpath

33. Car parking area (50 carparks)

34. New access driveway

35. Emergency access to Grounds

36. Existing gravel driveway

37. Gravel service area

38. Indoor hydrotherapy pool (optional)

39. Reception, kiosk & cafe servery

40. Cafe kitchen

41. Cafe - outdoor dining

42. Family rooms

43. Amenities - Female

44. Amenities - Male

45. Shower spray area

46. Storage

47. First Aid

48. Communications room

49. Office

50. Staff

51. Family rooms

52. Storage/ Janitorial

53. Amenities - Female

54. Amenities - Male

55 Storage

56. Shower spray area

57. Washroom - Female

58. Washroom - Male

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