THE new $31 million Gurri Wanyarra wellbeing and aquatic centre will draw 420,000 visitors in its first year, according to the City of Greater Bendigo.
The number is slightly higher than the 380,000 visits to Bendigo’s other indoor pool, the Peter Krenz centre in Eaglehawk.
But the Kangaroo Flat facility, due to open in August, features some state-of-the-art therapeutic services that will make it the go-to place for health sector rehabilitation programs, manager of active and healthy lifestyles Lincoln Fitzgerald said.
“Gurri Wanyarra will be a regional centre, it is the only 50-metre indoor facility other than Eaglehawk until you get to Echuca so we are expecting a broad catchment,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“But it is also about the other services we provide.
“Having the wellness suites for example, that is traditionally not a service in an aquatic centre, but it is the trend of what people want.”
Those facilities include the first changing room in Bendigo with equipment allowing people of all abilities to change.
All of the pools have ramps so swimmers can enter and exit the water under their own power.
A warm water exercise pool will have wheelchair access to a spa, and then patients can use the steam room or sauna.
“A really impressive part of this facility is the accessibility so we have everything here from scooter charging points, we have got a hearing loop in the gym so people (with hearing challenges) can hear the program that is happening and hear the person using the microphone without feeling like they are different,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“We have spent a lot of time and effort on that to ensure it is an inclusive facility.”
The centre is almost at the lock up stage, with some windows already installed.
Rooms that will contain gyms, exercise classes or therapeutic services are almost complete and nearly ready to be furnished.
But the bulk of work left to do at the centre is tiling, Mr Fitzgerald said.
“We have over an acre of tiling to put in so as you can imagine, it is a huge job,” he said.
“It is certainly one of the most major parts of the project and as we progress towards the opening, it is going to be the one we are worrying and thinking about and hoping that it finishes on time.”
The centre has already faced time delays due to high rainfall in the 2016 spring just as contractors started digging the holes that would become the pools.