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Contractors dive in during BARC closure

Friday 14 September

Construction of the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre (BARC) redevelopment has reached the half way point with the project progressing on schedule for anticipated completion by Easter 2019.


But with such progress comes the need for a full short-term closure of the BARC. Council and its contractors have scheduled a closure for the September/October school holidays to minimise disruption to various programs offered during school terms.


Council’s Director Development Paul Holton said that through the management of the principal contractor, Brooker Builders, there had been no need to fully close the centre up to this point.

“When the project commenced Council expected the need to close the centre three to four times throughout construction totaling a period of six to eight weeks,” Mr Holton said.


“Every effort is being made to keep the closure as short as possible.”


Closure dates are:

  • Aquatics area: 3pm Friday, September 21 until 6am Monday, October 15
  • Rest of the facility: 6pm Sunday, September 23 until 6am Tuesday, October 9


“Significant work will be undertaken in a number of areas of the BARC during this time. By programming these works together it will reduce the need for any further long duration closures of the whole facility,” Mr Holton said.


Works being undertaken during the closure include an upgrade of the building’s power supply and internal electrical switchboards. To undertake these works, electricity will be shut off to the entire building. Air handling ductwork above the 25-metre pool will be removed and replaced with new fabric ducts and the 25m pool area painted to match the colours of the new building.


“In order to both paint and remove the ductwork above the pool it needs to be emptied. The additional time reflects the time taken to empty, refill, and return the pool water to an operational state before it opens to the public,” Mr Holton said.


“Council has Environment Protection Authority approval to release the water into the nearby wetland. Given the current drought water levels in the wetland are quite low and utilising the water will help improve the health of this environment.


“Due to the age of the 25m pool there is a chance of structural or tile damage occurring when the pool is emptied. To reduce the risk of this occurring the water temperature will be gradually decreased from Tuesday, September 18. By Friday, September 21 the temperature will be down to 24 degrees Celsius,” Mr Holton said.


All BARC memberships will be suspended during the closure. Members on term based contracts will have their expiry date extended, while those on direct debit will pay a reduced pro-rata amount on the debit before and after the closure. BARC members can utilise the Lakes Entrance Aquadome free of charge during the closure.


Aqua aerobics and swimming lessons will still run as timetabled in the last week of term three despite reduced water temperature. Parents and guardians are encouraged to factor this in to their decision to attend swim lessons or not. There will be no lessons offered in the first week of term four and lessons will commence from Monday, October 15.


All BARC members, swim school participants, user groups and the Department of Education and local schools have been notified of the closure.


Mr Holton said construction had been progressing well since the January 2018 start.


Work completed to date includes:


  • Demolition and removal of the old toddlers’ pool, spa, sauna and entry way.
  • Construction of the concrete shell for the new warm water program pool and spa.
  • Installation of new water filtration equipment to run the new pool and spa.
  • Installation of the structural steel work and roof covering the new pool area as well as the expanded café and reception areas.


The BARC redevelopment will cost $6.55 million, with council contributing $3.55m and the Victorian Government $3 million from the Community Sports Infrastructure Fund Better Pools category.

The project includes a warm water pool, interactive children’s water play area, an expanded aquatic area and upgraded change facilities including family/all ability change rooms. There will also be expanded reception and café areas.


Further details relating to the closure, including frequently asked questions, can be found on Council’s Your Say page of its website. Alternatively, stay up-to-date with the redevelopment by joining the mailing list to receive regular email updates on the progress of the works through the council website.


BARC3 - Ant Miles (Kevron Constructions).JPG


Ant Miles, of Kevron Constructions, ties reinforced mesh ahead of a concrete pour for the concourse around the new warm water programs pool at the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre this week.


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