At last, pool to open Saturday

THE wait is over — Wodonga’s new $10.6 million aquatic centre WAVES will open on Saturday.

While it will be 84 days after the original opening date of December 1, and with summer nearly over, the city’s leaders were yesterday spruiking the new 10-lane, Olympic pool and children’s splash pad.

Wodonga councillors described WAVES as a “multi-generational” and “iconic” complex that would take over from the old Stanley Street pool as the birth place of memories “for the next 50 years”.

Mayor Mark Byatt said a long journey had finally ended.

“There’s been significant planning and a lot of emotion go into the move from the Stanley Street site,” he said.

“But if you come into this facility with an open mind, you’ll see it’s spectacular and something that will take our communities forward.”

Cr Byatt admitted it was unfortunate but ultimately out of council’s hands that the complex had been delayed on two separate occasions.

“There has been a bit of media coverage about the pool not being delivered at an estimated time and as a council you need to put up with that,” he said.

“I’d say our council management staff and the contractors have been absolutely outstanding in bringing the pool to the stage it’s at in this time given the poor weather conditions we’ve had.”

The council had already begun looking at stage 2 of the project which is likely to include a warm-down pool.

WAVES, which the council says has come in more than $1 million under the $11.9 million set aside for the project, will officially open at 10am on Saturday.

It will be free entry for families with a range of activities for children.

While the hard work is over for contractor Zauner, it’s only beginning for operator YMCA.

YMCA Wodonga manager Andrew Mundy said they would get staff and systems up to speed and transfer stock and equipment which will take a couple of days.

Mr Mundy said he was looking forward to hosting major swimming and water polo events.

WAVES will close on April 14.

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