PRICE RISE: The Gympie Aquatic Centre is budgeted to now cost $22.2 million.
PRICE RISE: The Gympie Aquatic Centre is budgeted to now cost $22.2 million.

Gympie Aquatic Centre to cost $22.2 million

THE Gympie Aquatic Centre is more than a third complete and on track to cost $5.2 million more than the touted $17 million due in some part to the cost of removing tonnes of contaminated soil from the former council depot site.

A report on the project to be tabled at this Thursday's council budget meeting also notes that adding a hydrotherapy pool to the centre would cost at least another $1.5 million in construction and increase the annual operating costs.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Mick Curran, who is in New Zealand, said yesterday the budget for the ARC project was $22.2 million.

RELATED: Gympie's aquatic centre on track to open by February 2017. Check progress here. 

"It comprises a number of contracts, the largest one of which is nearly $17 million. The remaining $5.2 million comprises:

  • Authority fees and charges $195,000;
  • Design fees and project management $1.71 million;
  • Roadworks $1 million;
  • Contingencies $1.55 million;
  • Specification upgrade of shade structure and solar $802,000. 



"The site was the Gympie City Council works depot for a very long time, and a lot of diesel and other chemicals have leaked in to the soil during those years," the spokeswoman said.

"A lot of old asbestos sheet has also been found. A quantity of contaminated soil has been taken away from the site; some with less contamination has been relocated nearby and will have to be treated.


"The handling of all of the contaminated material has been closely supervised by specialist professionals. There are no final figures available yet on the quantities or the cost."


PHOTO GALLERY: What will the Gympie Aquatic Centre look like?


The council will respond on Thursday to a petition seeking the addition of a hydrotherapy pool to the Gympie ARC, but is likely to reject the request and stand by its offer of a site for a hydrotherapy pool at Tozer Park Rd should the Hydrotherapy group gain full funding to build and operate one.


The council is also expected to reiterate its offer to help the Hydrotherapy group put together a business plan to attract external funding to build it.

"Council established a position in 2011 that it would not build a hydrotherapy pool in the GARC because of cost constraints," the report notes.

"Currently the GARC is approximately 35% complete. The budget is $22.2m which was derived from the 2014 quantity surveyor's report, noting that it did not allow for "environmental incidences" which have occurred.

OPINION: Don't give up on hydrotherpy pool

"A specification upgrade is also in progress, with minor cost implications. A final report on financing will be prepared after the outcome of Council's Get Playing Plus grant application is known, but there will be no unallocated funds available within the interim budget.


"The GARC incorporates a heated indoor 25m pool, which should take away a portion of the demand for a dedicated hotter hydrotherapy pool.


Gympie ARC logo 2015 Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
Gympie ARC logo 2015 Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst


"Notwithstanding this, Council's current intention is demonstrated by the provision on all plans of a future hydrotherapy pool site in an ideal location for special access, and with car parking provided.

" In relation to hydrotherapy pools in general, the CEO of the Queensland Department of Health advised in correspondence to Council on 6 May 2016, that a hydrotherapy pool would have to be staffed by appropriately trained and credentialed clinicians. And they are more expensive to run than an equivalent sized program pool.

"Further, a greater proportion of the population would be likely to benefit from a program pool (if it was one pool or the other).

"Hence there has been evidence that the current plans give the best return for the limited funding available. "

Gympie Times

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