The Alfred Deakin Centre has been part of Council’s infrastructure for over 11 years, built alongside the outdoor pool which has been in situ since the 1940’s; the Alfred Deakin Centre was opened in March 2000. As we approached the 10 year celebration of this iconic Mildura public amenity a rejuvenation was in order to incorporate not only a visual update but to incorporate new safety technology. This project commenced in late 2009 and concentrated on the refurbishment of the community’s primary indoor pool and recreation site.
The Alfred Deakin Centre has been the geographical social hub of the city of Mildura for over 10 years. The site itself houses a number of key infrastructure elements which include Council’s tourism and information centre (Visitor Information Centre), the Mildura Library and of course the Waves pool, gym and recreation complex.
It was named in honour of Alfred Deakin whose role in the creation of our city is widely respected. From March 1883 to November 1890, Alfred Deakin held office in coalition governments… He chaired the 1884 royal commission on irrigation, a cause he pressed with passion. Late in the year he led a small party to California to investigate irrigation and conservation schemes. There he met the Chaffey brothers and reported enthusiastically on their experiments.
The Chaffeys’ model irrigation settlement impressed Deakin who in turn impressed them with the potential for irrigation from the Murray River in Australia. The Chaffey brothers subsequently came to Australia and, after protracted negotiations, in 1887 purchased the then defunct pastoral lease and created the Mildura Irrigation Colony.
Eventually Deakin introduced the first legislation in Australia to promote an irrigation system. Without this initiative Mildura would simply not exist. This site pays tribute to the most important moment in history for our local community.
In the context of this important landmark site, this project will revitalise one of the highest use facilities that Council owns. The primary focus of the project was to replace the entire ‘wet deck’ areas of the site with a specifically designed tiled surface that would not only reinvigorate the tired old painted surface but also provide patrons with a much safer facility.
Portfolio Councillor for Sport and Recreation and Waves Reference Group member Sue Nichols said ceramic tiles that were of higher quality than the Australian standard for safety in the industry, would be used on all wet areas within the Waves complex.
“Basically everywhere that people can walk surrounding the indoor 25 metre pool wave pool, sauna, toddlers pool will be tiled, which will not only give the wet areas a face lift but also improve safety for people using this great facility”
The project will also see the wet deck area surrounding the 25 metre pool, which has deteriorated over time, replaced. Disruption to patrons using the facility were unavoidable when completing a project of this magnitude; however works had been scheduled in three stages to limit the impact it would have on people visiting Waves.
“The works have been planned ensure access for swimming is available as much as possible during the three stages of work. Hopefully people will not be too put out by the works and will recognise that once completed, Waves will be an even better place to exercise and have fun.”
“We anticipate that the entire project will be completed in time for the Centres 10th birthday and we will be inviting the community to a celebratory event to mark the occasion”
In February 2010, The Hon Anthony Albanese MP Minister for Infrastructure and Transport announced long awaited funding for Mildura Community Infrastructure Projects. The Labor Government will provide $634,000 for four ready-to-go community infrastructure projects in Mildura and Red Cliffs to support local jobs while delivering lasting benefits for the community.
“I am pleased to announce a new round of funding for Mildura community infrastructure projects. These four projects are expected to support more than 10 jobs during construction. “All of the projects announced today were put forward by the local councils as local community priorities. By letting local communities decide, the Rudd Government is helping turn the community’s vision into a reality”
One of these projects was the upgrade of the Alfred Deakin Centre concourse. More than 38,000 ceramic tiles have be laid on walking and pool surfaces at “The Waves” wet areas over a six month period. The works also included the replacement of the wet deck (plastic drainage channel that surrounds the pool edge) around the 25 metre lap pool that has deteriorated over time and has become a significant safety risk.
This project addressed issues relating to slips and falls from the wet concrete and comments on the appearance of the centre.
The works were scheduled in 3 stages to ensure the impact on the public was kept to a minimum.
- Stage 1 saw the closure of the indoor 25 metre pool and involved the removal and replacement of the wet deck and tiling of the surrounding area and concourse. This works were scheduled to ensure that access to the outdoor pool was still available open during this time.
- Stage 2 commenced once the indoor 25 metre pool was reopened in and focused on the wet deck and lower concourse area surrounding The Wave and toddler pool areas which was closed during this stage. Expected completion date for Stage 2 was early in 2010 to allow indoor access during peak periods as the weather cooled off.
- Stage 3 was the tiling of the main entrance area to the pools and spa and sauna area.
Although the works occurred during a busy period, they were scheduled while the outdoor pool was open. All programs that were booked for the indoor 25 metre pool were accommodated in the outdoor 50 metre pool. There was no disruption to the gymnasium, group fitness classes and crèche during the project although access to these areas was modified during Stage 3 when the entrance works commenced. An extensive communication strategy to ensure the community was kept abreast of the projects particularly where disruption to normal services occurred.