Committee backs two-pools retention

Albury and Lavington residents will be able to continue taking a cool dip close to home during the warmer months, if a recommendation for the future of the city’s swim centres is approved by Council.

The Community and Cultural Committee last night adopted a staff recommendation to retain and improve the existing aquatic centres at Albury and Lavington, with the Lavington centre to be replaced in 2021-22 and the Albury centre to be upgraded.

The cost of this proposal is $13M over the course of both redevelopments.

The committee has backed this option over a second suggestion to close the Lavington pool and retain the Albury Swim Centre while building a new regional aquatic facility at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre. This option is estimated to have cost about $47M million dollars.

The committee also recommended that discussions continue with the City of Wodonga in relation to the future development of a regional aquatic facility to service both communities.

AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack says the option adopted last night was a prudent financial decision that sees more than $13M invested while ensuring local families still have easy access to pools of their choice.

“Lavington is at the heart of a growth area for our city so retaining the pool there makes sense for families, keen swimmers and others who want to the use the facility without having to travel into central Albury,” he said.

“Research shows that quality swimming facilities not only provide recreational opportunities but also promote emotional and mental well-being and provide a hub for people to meet, so the retention of two swim centres for our growing city is a good move.”

Meanwhile, Albury’s recreational and sporting future is moving to a new level, after Council’s  Engineering and Works Committee last night adopted a recommendation to award the tender for the first stage of the Lavington Sports Ground redevelopment to the Melbourne-based Depan Group, which will conduct demolition, earthworks and sports field reconstruction on-site. The company will source about 90 per cent of the materials, subcontractors and consultants from the Albury-Wodonga area.

When completed, the Lavington centre will be one of the premier sports facilities in regional Australia, helping Albury to build upon its already-strong reputation for hosting major events across the sporting spectrum.