The first competition venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is set to open after managing contractor Watpac delivered a substantial upgrade to the facility on time and within budget.

Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jan Stuckey described the $41.39 million Gold Coast Aquatic Centre as ‘spectacular’ and said construction of the venue had been completed earlier than originally planned and in time to allow the Pan Pacific Championships to be held at there in August.

Designed by Cox Rayner Architects and set against a stunning backdrop, the upgrade delivered:

  • Three new pools, including a 50-metre competition pool (10 lanes), a 10-metre-by-15-metre learn-to-swim pool and a children’s play pool
  • Three refurbished pools, including a 50-metre,  eight-lane training pool, a 25-by-25 program pool and a diving pool
  • New facilities including a dry dive training facility, change rooms and amenities, support facilities, a 600 square metre gymnasium, indoor/outdoor café, multi–function meeting rooms, consultation rooms, a crèche, event facilities and 155 car parking spaces
  • Temporary seating for up to 12,500 spectators during the Games (the centre is designed to expand specifically whilst the Games are on).

All told, around 250,000 new and existing tiles were required to fill a tiling area of approximately 4,621 square metres, while the filling of the six pools consumed around nine million litres of water.

Describing the centre as the beginning of a ‘wave’ of investment, Stuckey said the Games would inject around $2 billion into the Gold Coast economy and generate around 30,000 full-time employment positions.

“The centre is stunning and with a backdrop like the Broadwater it’s sure to attract many international swimming events into the future,” Stuckey said, adding that the new centre was the first of eight upgraded venues and three brand new venues to be delivered.

“We can see before our eyes the Commonwealth Games is already starting to provide significant long-term benefits for Queenslanders.”

Completion of the new centre follows last week’s granting of approval for Grocon’s application to develop the Commonwealth Games Village as well as last month’s release of last month’s forward procurement plan to ensure local businesses had ample opportunity to participate in the Games’ development.

According to Stuckey, firms from South East Queensland accounted for around 90 percent of those involved in the building of the aquatic centre, while around 60 per cent were from the Gold Coast specifically.