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$47.8 million Aquanation transformation begins
The major make-over of the ageing Ringwood Aquatic Centre into 'Aquanation', Victoria's new State Diving Centre and regional aquatic and leisure centre, is underway.
Construction of the $47.8 million project commenced last week with Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty joining Member for Bayswater and Victorian Minister for the Arts, Women's Affairs and Consumer Affairs Heidi Victoria; local dignitaries and representatives from Swimming Australia, Swimming Victoria, Ringwood Swimming Club, Diving Australia, Diving Victoria and Ringwood Diving Club.
Redevelopment works at the Maroondah City Council facility include a new indoor FINA standard 50 metre 10-lane pool and 10 metre diving tower, Victoria's first dedicated dry diving training centre, warm water and learn to swim pools, club rooms, program rooms, gymnasium, wellness centre, kiosk, crèche, spectator seating, reception, offices and car parking.
With room for more than 800 spectators, Aqunation will be able to host elite state, national and international diving trials and competitions.
Aquanation will also be a key training venue for instructors and educators in a range of recreational disciplines, and provide access to education, training, and competition for primary and secondary schools.
Diving Victoria will establish development squads drawing participants from across Victoria, stimulating economic opportunities for retail, business and tourism operators and assisting to leverage investment in urban development.
The project cost is being met by Maroondah City Council who are meeting $34.58 million in funding backed by $10million from the Federal Government's Regional Development Fund, and $3 million from the Victorian Government's Community Facility Funding Program the Federal Government along with local contributions including $200,000 from the Ringwood East & Heathmont Community Bank and $20,000 from Connect East.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Delahunty stated "to build healthy and active communities ... we need quality community facilities that encourage local people to get involved and play the sports they love for many years to come."
"These new state-of-the-art aquatic facilities will be capable of hosting regional and state athletes as well as major competitions in water sports as well as being the new home of diving in Victoria.
"They will inject new life into local swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming participation programs."
Maroondah Mayor Nora Lamont added that it was a proud moment being able to turn the first sod on the facility which once operating will benefit the health and wellbeing of more than one million people.
She explained "Aquanation will benefit all Victorian, national and state diving associations, serving as the new home for Diving Victoria, Ringwood Diving Club and Ringwood Swimming Club.
"Aquanation will also provide state of the art facilities, constructed to FINA standards, for dive training, trials and competitions.
"In fact at this very moment we have elite swimming and diving athletes competing in Barcelona at the 15th FINA World Championships, quite timely given that once Aquanation opens its doors ...it will be the springboard for the next round of aquatic champions."
Once completed Aquanation will be home to Diving Victoria, Ringwood Diving Club, Ringwood Water Polo Club and Ringwood Swimming Club, with Swimming Australia also intending to establish a permanent presence.
Designed by PeddleThorp architects, Mayor Lamont added that the designed takes in best practice and best caters for the future needs of our community, sporting clubs, user groups and individuals.
Mayor Lamont stated "Peddle Thorp is recognised for innovative and landmark aquatic and recreational buildings, with one of their most recent aquatic projects being the completion of the South Australian State Aquatic Centre, site of the Australian Swimming and Diving Teams' Olympic Trials for London last year."
Mayor Lamont said the start of construction also sees the creation of more than 290 full time construction jobs and concluded "once operational, Aquanation will employ more than 145 people in a range of roles from fitness and swimming educators to childcare and administration roles."
Features of Aquanation will include:
• A 10 lane FINA standard pool; with unique twin booms that will separate water spaces for lap swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and underwater hockey.
• New FINA standard diving facilities with a 10 metre tower, dive recovery and plunge pool, as well as a dry diving training room – which includes inbuilt trampolines, foam pits and harness structures, enabling more effective training routines.
• A warm water pool for rehabilitation and therapy, a dedicated learn-to-swim pool, leisure and toddler pool with beach entry and splash play, and a wet and dry sauna and spa.
• Dry leisure facilities include a gym, three group fitness rooms, a childcare facility, and a variety of change facilities.
• The centre will also have an event management office, club and community meeting rooms, and linkages to existing sporting facilities in the Jubilee Park precinct.
• Aquanation will also feature an environmentally sustainable design including the use of sustainable materials, improved energy efficiency, stormwater harvesting, water and energy conservation systems, and maximum use of natural light and ventilation.
Prior to the construction of Aquanation, demolition works on the former Ringwood Aquatic Centre began in July last year. Aquanation is expected to open its doors in Spring 2015.
For more information go to www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/Aquanation.aspx
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