Aquatic facilities to put Wangaratta on the map

Published on 17 December 2020

Outdoor pool

Wangaratta’s goal of being home to the premiere sporting and events precinct in regional Victoria is coming to fruition.

The new aquatic facilities at the Wangaratta Sports and Aquatic Centre (WSAC) will see the regional city attract major events and serve our community’s growing health and recreation needs for decades to come.

New facilities will be available for community use from 19 December, with a soft launch running from 10am – 3pm on Saturday.

An official opening for the Wangaratta Aquatic Project, funded in partnership with the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund and Wangaratta Swimming Club, will be held in the New Year. 

“Under current restrictions we can host limited numbers, which is not enough for us to throw a big party just yet,” Wangaratta Sports and Events Precinct Manager Chloe Davies said.

“We’ll have some low key Covid-safe celebrations and invite the community to come along over the course of the weekend to enjoy these state-of-the-art facilities.”

Mayor Dean Rees said the project was being delivered on time and on budget, which was an amazing feat for Council’s Infrastructure team and the contractors Browns, considering the challenges of 2020.

“From border closures restricting the entry of tiling contractors, to delays in imports, and a hard lockdown in Melbourne slowing supply, it is just astounding this project is coming in on time,” he said.

“This is a community building transformational project that we can all be proud of.”

Council’s Chief Executive Officer Brendan McGrath said the facilities were being made available for community use at the same time Council’s team at the WSAC was beginning to deliver a new approach to customer service.

“We’ve been able to increase our hours and services at the WSAC over the past couple of weeks so we are almost at 100%,” he said.

“The team are extremely excited about supporting our community to enjoy these new pools and splash pad.

“Our vision is to create the premiere sporting and events precinct in regional Victoria by integrating the WSAC with the surrounding sporting facilities, including four full size sporting ovals with lighting.

“We’ve already seen The Academy, run by Alex Rance, attracted to this precinct, with a campus to open in the new year. This Precinct will continue to grow and attract more visitors, who spend money at our shops, restaurants and hotels, helping to drive our economy.”

Project details:

The project is being funded through $4.4m from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, $1.5m from the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund and $100,000 from the Wangaratta Swimming Club. Council was also the recipient of a $6m low interest loan through Sport and Recreation Victoria’s (SRV) Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme. The $6m will form part of Council’s contribution to the project.

New facilities to open on 19 December include:

  • a heated outdoor FINA standard 50m pool, with a boom capable of changing the size of the pool to 2 x 25m pools, as well as a water polo pool;
  • a 17m x 12m indoor warm water pool capable of reaching 35 degrees. This complements the existing warm water pool, which has been over subscribed for swimming lessons and rehabilitation; and
  • an outdoor splash pad.

Other elements of the project:

  • the existing 25m pool has also undergone cleaning and a resurfacing of the pool deck;
  • significant investment has been made in the plant room for the entire facility;
  • solar panels installed on the centre roof;
  • formalisation and asphalting of the adjacent carpark;
  • landscaping, including shade trees to be planted in cooler weather