Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct.
Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct. Gympie Regional Council

REVEALED: What lies ahead for the Memorial pool

YOUTH are the future, and Gympie is committed to them with $2.8 million plans unveiled for the first stage of the youth precinct to be built at the old Memorial Pool site.

Speaking before Gympie Regional Council at this week's workshop, Enlocus project developer Jason McNamee said the precinct was one of the three biggest in Australia to be built over the next two years.

The first stage of the design includes the construction of a rock climbing wall, a track for skating and BMX riding, a skate bowl, and restoration and refurbishment of the historical building.

Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct.
Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct. Gympie Regional Council

Mr McNamee stressed the design was about finding new ways to encourage youth to enjoy the space, and not about building "a big kid's playground”.

The rock climbing wall was one example.

"We need to move on from the idea we build a wall and stick some holes in it which kids climb on for five minutes,” he said.

"Bouldering is one of the fastest growing sports in that demographic.”

While the pump track might also sound simple, Mr McNamee said the simple action of rolling along with no aim was a hit with youth.

Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct.
Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct. Gympie Regional Council

"Kids can do it for hours and just exhaust themselves,” he said.

It was also important old ideas about different interest groups being opposed to sharing a space be left in the past where they belong.

"It's important we're breaking down this notion 'there's skateboarders and there's scooter, and they hate each other',” Mr McNamee said.

He praised the council for being committed to the project, not only through their own level of funding ($1.4 million) but by also securing State Government support ($1.4 million).

Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct.
Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct. Contributed

Mayor Mick Curran said retaining the original building was a key part of the plan, and had been championed by the public during the feedback process.

"There was very much an emphasis on retaining the old Memorial Pool structure,” Cr Curran said.

"Whilst we won't keep the pool, it's still significant in the history of Gympie.

"We'll transform that into something very functional and it will fit well into the precinct.”

The final design draft of the Youth Precinct and Regional Play Space Design will be on display until October 13.

The full report can be viewed at the the town hall and the library, and online.

Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct.
Artist sketches of the Gympie youth precinct. Gympie Regional Council

Stage one will be completed by April 1, 2019, with four more stages earmarked for future consideration.

Following a question by Councillor Hilary Smerdon on the total cost of the five stages, councillors were told there was not yet a grand total for delivering the entire plan.

Cr Curran said there was always a chance stage one might be the only part constructed.

"The fiscally responsible way to go is to stage the first part as the needs increase and as our budgets allow we'll deliver the rest of the stages,” Cr Curran said.

Cr Dan Stewart was thankful for the extra funding, and said it contradicted Gympie MP Tony Perrett's claims "this State Government gives us no money”.

Gympie Times


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