Pool ‘on track’ despite virus challenge


Pool site: Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors Simon Brooks, Rosie Clark, Antonella Celi, Bryan Payne, Sam Hearn and Bev Colomb at the site of the aquatic centre in Boneo Road, Rosebud. Picture: Supplied

CONSTRUCTION of Mornington Peninsula Shire’s $47.4 million aquatic centre is said to be “on budget and on track” for completion at the end of the year.

The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said despite the “ongoing challenges” presented by the COVID-19 pandemic the aquatic and activities centre at Rosebud was expected to be finished by late December.

Chief financial officer Bulent Oz said the shire received a $5 million federal grant and organised a $10 million low interest loan from the state government for the project. The balance will be financed by council asset sales of $2 million and a $30.3 million loan, he said.

Contractor Buxton is said to have implemented a range of measures to ensure compliance with stage three restrictions while building work progresses.

Cr Hearn said the health and safety of those on site and the wider community continued to be the “highest priority”.

“It is a testament to the project and construction teams that they have adapted so well to the restrictions that they are able to continue construction,” he said.

“When the [restrictions] change, community gathering places like our aquatic centre will be where the community comes together again, so we are thrilled the project is still on track.”

Cr Simon Brooks said: “Seeing the steel beams reaching into the sky and the size of the building becoming a reality gives us hope and reminds us all this pandemic will pass, and the community will have a place to enjoy recreation and leisure activities again.”

While the pool complex is well and truly underway, it is yet to be given a name.

An invitation for public suggestions attracted 400 ideas and shire officers are now “working on the shortlist of names as part of a comprehensive naming and branding process”, according to infrastructure strategy and climate change executive manager Davey Smith.

A short list of suggested names will be given to councillors with a view to one being selected at their 26 May meeting.

Frankston Council has already taken Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre, or PARC, for its already built and operating pool complex in Cranbourne Road, Frankston, well outside of the peninsula’s municipal boundary.

With Keith Platt

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 12 May 2020


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