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Construction to begin at new Victor Harbor aquatic centre
Construction of the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre (FRAC) at Victor Harbor in South Australia is set to begin this week with builder Kennett Pty Ltd having been announced as the winner of the construction tender.
Kennett Pty Ltd Managing Director John Kennett said the project should be completed by Christmas 2017 and at a fixed price of $16 million –within an overall project cost of $21 million.
Kennett explained “our procurement and construction teams that so successfully achieved the success at Resthaven in Port Elliot are working on the aquatic centre and I am confident they will deliver a project that the community will be proud of and will enjoy.”
Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and Federal Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs said the demand for such a facility has increased significantly over the years as the population on the south coast has grown.
Briggs told local media “the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre will accommodate this increasing demand and will be of great benefit to the community’s social and physical well-being.
"Residents of the Fleurieu Peninsula have been calling for an aquatic centre for more than 30 years - and this is a key milestone in delivering this long awaited project.”
Funding for the new facility, a joint initiative between Alexandrina Council and the City of Victor Harbor, has been backed by $7.5 million in funding through the Community Development Grants Program.
When complete, FRAC will include an eight-lane 25 metre swimming pool, multi-use rehabilitation, leisure and children’s pool, outdoor splash and play pool, creche facility, kiosk, plant and equipment rooms, office accommodation, change rooms and toilets, first aid and lifeguard rooms, and car and bus parking.
The facility is being built on 4 hectares of land gifted to the councils by a local landowning family – the Wright family of local property developer Beyond Developments.
However, the project has been dogged by criticism over costs and scope with aquatic facility architect Stephen Johansson of the Facility Design Group last year addressing a public meeting of concerned locals.
The public meeting was called to contrast why Johansson’s similarly equipped Moss Vale Aquatic Centre had cost less than half of the projected cost of the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre.
Questions have also been asked about the costs for ongoing management, operation and maintenance of the facility by the council, with the Wright family set to open a fitness club adjacent to FRAC. Increasingly, 'dry' fitness facilities subsidise the costs of 'wet' swimming pool space in multi-purpose aquatic, fitness and recreation centres.
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