Ivanhoe Aquatic re-opened after a $6 million redevelopment which has transformed the centre and made it fully accessible to people with disabilities.
Design director Peter Brook said it was a case of reinventing a good building that had grown tired and needed renovation.
“Good architecture is often not about reinventing the wheel. It is about refreshing and redeveloping much loved or heritage buildings for a new era,” he said.
The centre was built to environmentally sensitive design principles and had also been designed around major trees on site, including the 200-year-old, 22 metre high River Red Gum at the front of the centre.
The centre, which previously attracted 360,000 visits per year, is set to attract even more visitors with new facilities including:
- A gym, doubled in size to 500 square metres, with a range of new state-of-the-art gym equipment
- Better access for all with a new lift, improved reception and foyer area, and easy swipe-in access for members
- A café with outdoor seating
- New group exercise room and new fitness programs
- A skylight over the main pool, new spa and sauna, and family and individual change rooms, toilets and showers
- New birthday party and children’s program rooms.
The Cr Jenny Mulholland, said that the centre had a long history, established following a redevelopment of the original outdoor 50 metre pool, which was developed as the training facility for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Thirty years ago, the indoor pool and fitness centre was constructed.
“While the centre was much loved and used, the amenities left a lot to be desired. With this latest redevelopment, the new and updated facilities have brought the centre into line with modern leisure centres,” Cr Mulholland said.
“Apart from the new gym, the swimming pool, where families have learnt to swim through the generations, is lighter and brighter thanks to the new skylight in the roof. The new spa and sauna is also being enjoyed, particularly with wintery weather.”
Cr Mulholland said the new complex, combined with the wide array of programs and activities, provided many opportunities to improve health and wellbeing for all ages.
“The community is already giving us great feedback about the difference the redevelopment has made to their fitness programs and how the new look building is almost unrecognisable from what was there just 12 months ago,” she said.
“This redevelopment ensures that Ivanhoe Aquatic can meet the changing needs of the community, while remaining a much-used and loved local aquatic and fitness centre,” she said.