Aquatic centre will be instant fun - just add water
THE much announced Gympie Aquatic and Recreation Centre is rising from the ground like mushrooms on a wet day.
And for those growing impatient, the good news is that, despite some delays caused by oil and other contaminants, including asbestos, found on the site, the whole thing will be swim-ready some time in February next year.
And Mayor Mick Curran says it is "tracking to come in on budget" as well.
"There have been some time delays.
"I would have preferred to see it open in December 2016 (as originally predicted), but now it will be February 2017," he said..
He said there had been some misunderstanding of the cost of the facility, which had been projected to cost $17.2 million "to actually build," with an overall cost of $22.25 million for its total cost, including planning and organising.
Council CEO Bernard Smith said the centre would never be a money earner for the council but was "a service, like libraries."
The capital cost had been met with a $5 million grant, plus cash and borrowings from council reserves.
The question was whether it was right to take money from reserves to which past residents had contributed.
"It is not a net income generating facility. In this day and age of low interest rates it makes sense to borrow money (for major projects.
"There is a recipe," he said.
Planning and development councillor Mark McDonald said the centre had now passed the critical point where a project rises "above ground".
"Things will travel much more smoothly now."