Ready to make a splash
THE increasingly finished-looking Rainbow Beach aquatic centre will soon be ready for its official opening. But there is still a bit of work to do, says Rainbow Beach sport, recreation and veteran's club official Rick Modin.
"A couple of months yet," he estimated when asked when the job would be completed. "Depending on the weather."
But as paint was applied to one of the major buildings at the $2 million-plus centre this week, it was clear that the project is progressing well, despite rain-related hold-ups.
"We expect to open in March," he said.
Aside from a couple of service buildings yet to be erected, the big job still to be done is the lining of the pools, which will be applied in a polished pebble concrete, with a fine sandy finish.
The pool has to be filled with water immediately the lining is poured and finished, meaning safety fences must be up first.
"That's happening today," Mr Modin said, from the clubhouse next door.
"All the landscaping still has to be done as well."
The pool lining hopefully will be done in next two weeks.
"Then we'll be in a position to announce an opening date," he said.
Queensland senator Joe Ludwig announced federal funding in May, 2010, standing in for Infrastructure and Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese.
"It's a significant victory for an important community project," the senator said at a special function at the club premises.
Officials of the club, the driving force behind getting the project going, also thanked Gympie Regional Council for its role in installing energy and water-saving measures and providing art and landscaping to reflect local indigenous heritage. The club and community raised about $500,000 towards the project.
The centre will feature a 10-lane Olympic training pool, spa, gymnasium and secondary pool and facilities, including a children's aquatic playground.
Sen Ludwig said the project was one of only 48 which were successful in attracting federal funding, out of 393 applications from around Australia.
Business identity Ruth Modin said it would be the town's "first significant piece of community infrastructure not funded from chook raffles."
The idea for the pool came from Mr Modin and club manager Linda Adam, who oversaw a massive fundraising effort.
Support from Gympie Regional Council helped secure federal dollars.
Aquatic centre facts
Cost - $2 million plus
Construction jobs - 20
Permanent jobs - six
Funding - federal government plus club and community contributions and council in-kind assistance
Purpose - state-of-the-art aquatic centre, sport and recreation facility, learn-to-swim and life saving activities
Depth - 1.4m to 2m
Features - children's aquatic playground, gymnasium, wheelchair access