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Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre leads the way at 2022 Local Government Professionals awards
The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) has been recognised as a leading community facility in Victoria at the 2022 Local Government Professionals awards.
Latrobe City Council took out the Community Assets and Infrastructure (over $2.5 million) Initiative category for its delivery of the $57 million aquatic centre. The role of local community collaboration in the design and scope of GRAC contributed to the award. A project reference group, including an eclectic cast of local stakeholders, was engaged to ensure GRAC aligned with community expectations and needs.
The facility was funded through the Latrobe Valley Authority's $85 million Sports and Community Initiative, Sport and Recreation Victoria and Latrobe City Council
Modern and inclusive facility
The result was a modern, inclusive facility that reflects the growing community's needs into the future, underpinned by improved health and wellbeing outcomes. Accessibility features were recently bolstered by the creation of an 'Access Key' - a customised guide to the centre's programs and facilities tailored to people living with a disability.
Innovative design features, such as the implementation of geothermal energy throughout the facility, were also key to GRAC's recognition. Harnessing geothermal energy has led to annual savings of about $639,000 and a reduction in carbon emissions by some 840 tonnes per year. In just over a year of operation, the aquatic centre has welcomed more than 140,000 visitors through the doors despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pride for the community
Latrobe City Mayor Kellie O'Callaghan said, "The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre has been a point of great pride for the Latrobe City community since opening last March. It has made a significant contribution to our regional city's overall health, wellbeing and visitor economy."
"Being recognised by LGPro and our local government peers as a leading regional facility is a wonderful accolade and a tribute to the council staff, local community members, state government partners, contractors and many others who combined to deliver this exceptional project." Cr O'Callaghan said.
Pictures from Latrobe City Council website.
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