The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) has splashed down in Latrobe City thanks to a stream of support from the State Government.
The $57 million world-class swimming and leisure facility was officially opened on Tuesday 23 March in preparation for patrons to pour through the doors at the public launch from 6am on Thursday 26 March.
Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas, Latrobe City Mayor Sharon Gibson, Australian Dolphin and Olympian Andrew Lauterstein and local powerhouse Traralgon club swimmers, Jordyn and Molly Cargill and Joel and Olivia Baillie, were the first to dive into the 50m pool – taking part in a 50m butterfly race.
Premier Daniel Andrews began a funding flood by pledging $46 million for the project in 2017 as part of the now delivered $85 million Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative, followed by contributions from Sport and Recreation Victoria and Latrobe City Council.
The GRAC was then fast-tracked and filled to the brim with first-rate features, from an eight-lane 50m indoor pool with 500 spectator seats, to a regional first deep bore geothermal heating system to reduce carbon footprint and significantly decrease operational costs
The YMCA managed centre also features: an indoor water play zone, two large water slides, learn to swim pool, café and retail precinct and 25m heated outdoor pool. R and R are front and centre with a host of health and wellbeing facilities on deck including: warm water therapy pool, spa, sauna and steam rooms, wellness centre, wet and dry change facilities, and gymnasium with group fitness rooms.
Led by ADCO Constructions, the build provided an economic boost for a host of local contractors with more than 500 total workers engaged in over 10,000 hours of labour onsite.
“The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre has been on our community’s agenda for many years and Council is privileged to have made this a reality thanks to the incredible support of the State Government,” said Latrobe City Mayor Sharon Gibson.”
“This world class centre puts Latrobe City firmly in the spotlight when it comes to swimming and leisure facilities, major aquatic events, use of geothermal energy and stands as a testament to community spirit.”