Construction has begun on Geelong’s jointly funded Northern Aquatic and Community Hub (NACH) project, with the project being built next to Barwon Health North.

The Victorian Government invested $8.5 million, Federal Government $8.26 million, and the City of Greater Geelong $44.84 million in the major project, with construction beginning on 21 February 2022. 

The project is a part of the City’s ’s seven-year vision to create a premier health and wellbeing precinct for Geelong’s northern growth corridor. 

The landmark facility will be built on the current Waterworld and Centenary Hall site.

The integrated hub will feature: 

  • 25m pool, hydrotherapy pool, ‘Learn to Swim’ pool, water play area and  waterslide 
  • 1000m² of multi-purpose community space 
  • Spa, sauna, and steam room 
  • Centrally located café 
  • Gymnasium, program rooms and occasional care facilities 
  • Expanded car parking spaces, landscaping, and aesthetic improvements to Corio  Library

City of Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor, Trent Sullivan, said the start of construction was the realisation of a huge amount of preparation and advocacy. 

“This has been a top priority project for the Council for a long time, so today’s milestone is a huge moment,” Mr Sullivan said. 

“This will be a state-of-the-art facility for the north and we can’t wait to see the benefits it  brings for the local community.” 

Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, said it was exciting to see work get underway on the much anticipated project, which will deliver very significant health and wellbeing outcomes for Geelong’s north.  

“Under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, the Morrison Government is investing $8.26 million in the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub, which is expected to attract more than 600,000 visitors a year,” Ms Henderson said. 

“The community dividends for this project are enormous; over a decade of operation the  NACH will deliver $111 million in preventative health benefits alone.”

Member for Lara, John Eren, said the project would be a great asset for the local  community and a boost for local jobs, delivering an expected 128 jobs during construction. 

“I am proud that it will complement the State Government’s $33 million Barwon Health North facility, so this whole precinct will be a fantastic hub for our community members,” Mr Eren said. 

Contractor Kane Constructions’ initial priority is to clear the ageing Centenary Hall site. It will be replaced by a premier 1000m² community space – featuring a 400-seat  performance area and two adjoining kitchens – that will serve as a central activity hub.

The multi-purpose space will support the local community in carrying out arts, cultural, recreational and social activities,and meetings, performances and classes.   

While a number of existing trees are required to be removed, new trees will be planted as part of revegetation works.  

Waterworld will operate as usual throughout 2022, with construction to focus on the northern end of the site until 2023. 

Construction is expected to be completed by late 2023. 

Windermere Ward councillor, Anthony Aitken, said the project’s sod turning ceremony marked the start of the next phase in a long journey. 

“The hoarding is up, demolition of Centenary Hall will begin soon and the site will be  transformed over the next two years into the Greater Geelong Council’s largest ever  community project outside of the CBD,” Mr Aitken said. 

Fellow Windermere Ward councillor, Kylie Grzybek, acknowledged the support of the Federal and State Governments. 

“The Council is proud to be investing into this vital facility, and we’re thankful to our state and federal colleagues for their funding contributions,” Ms Grzybek said. 

“This facility will make a difference in the lives of so many people, including existing  residents and those who will eventually move into the new growth areas in the north and west of the city.”

Image: L-R: David Greenwood (community representative), Martin Cutter (City of Greater Geelong CEO), Cr Kylie Grzybek, Sandra Anderson (community representative), Sam Birdseye (Project Director, Kane Constructions), Cr Anthony Aitken, Ella George, Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan, The Hon. John Eren (Member for Lara), Brandon Dellow (community representative).

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