Latest progress on Gympie Aquatic and Recreation Centre
GYMPIE'S $17 million aquatic centre is already taking shape and is on track to open in late January or early February.
Project manager Rod Tebbutt said yesterday up to 600 spectators will be able to watch competition in the Olympic size pool which should draw a higher level of swimming competition to Gympie.
"It's still a little early to make a definite date," Mr Tebbutt said of opening day yesterday.
"We need to get more out of the ground to be confident of an end date, so we'll know more in six weeks time."
The smaller of the two major pools and the most dramatic - the 25m covered pool - had a few construction issues, as it is the most complex with its amazing roof and ceiling structure.
"It will feature 2.6m diameter acrylic tubes which will vary in length from 1.3m to nearly 3m. The structure will have a translucent roof, allowing natural light in during the day. All the gaps between the tubes will have acoustic panelling to dampen down noise within the complex.
"It's a big job to ensure the 35m span trusses, which will reach 5.5m above the pool, are millimetre perfect," he said.
The brick work which will grace the entrance and front to the complex has also begun and it is expected to take 3 1/2 months to complete.
The on-site 52-bay car park will be one of the first components to be finished while the off-site 52-bay car park, built on the other side of Tozer Rd, was completed last Christmas.
"Half the funding for that car park was contributed by Gympie State High School, with the knowledge that the school will be taking in Grade 11 pupils in about two years time," Mr Tebbutt said.
"Many of those kids will have licences so it made sense to have extra parking for students."
The first of two specially designed and iconic bus stops was completed recently by a local firm.
The second bus stop will be opposite it on the pool side of Tozer Park Rd and will not be built until later.
On the Everson Rd side, where the Gympie Gymnastics and Edmund Rice Education Centre are, the council is re-negotiating lease boundaries, as both complexes would like to expand out on to what will be land not being used for the aquatic centre.
The Gympie ARC will seat up to 600 spectators at the Olympic sized, regional competition compliant 50m pool, and has a host of energy efficient solutions in the pumping, filtration and heating systems, as well as LED lighting throughout.
"We're also costing shade structures. The one envisioned for the aquatic centre will extend from the entrance, over the concourse and marshalling areas, and then across the seating area. It will be 130m in length, roughly 6m wide and if it goes ahead, will have an 66kwH solar output.
"That will offset six to eight weeks power over a year and it will pay for itself in five years," he said.
Meanwhile, the council has been running vocational tours over the site with high school students considering a career in either university courses or trades associated with construction and building.
"We ran three last month," Mr Tebbutt said. "One for students considering university courses in engineering, surveying, or project management for example and two in the trades."
Gympie Memorial Pool will close when the new complex opens. It is about 60 years old, in a flood zone, upkeep is difficult and expensive and it didn't meet modern requirements. Although no decision has yet been made on the site, it is envisioned a youth precinct would be built there.