COUNCIL is continuing to work through community feedback for the finalisation of the Wonthaggi and Cowes’ aquatic centres.

The major project involves the redevelopment of the Bass Coast Aquatic Leisure Centre, and the construction of an aquatic/leisure centre on Phillip Island.

Concept plans and a draft feasibility study were presented to the public for feedback earlier this year, which is being reviewed by council.

The cost of each centre was estimated to be:

• Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre, depending on the option $42m; and

• Phillip Island Aquatic and Leisure Centre, depending on staging, $45m – $53m.

The next stage is for council to seek adoption of the concepts, feasibility study and funding strategy.

A council spokesperson said following community consultation, feedback had mostly been positive.

“We’re finalising all feedback and looking at what it means for the high-level feasibility study and incorporating that into the final report to get adopted,” the spokesperson said.

“The key component [of the feedback], which we knew all along, was people felt needed to be included was a 50m pool and separate hydrotherapy, but it was very minimal in the way of people wanting that.

“Most were quite supportive and just want the facilities built.”

The feasibility study will guide the future design and operations of the two facilities.

The completion and approval of the study will then allow council to progress to a process of delivery through detailed design based on this modelling, and to seek funding for construction.

“The next step really is that funding strategy that we need to do, and that’s our focus,” the spokesperson said.

According to council, long course pools (50m pools) were not recommended at either facility for reasons including:

• Industry benchmarking indicates that in order for 50m pools to be financially sustainable a catchment population of 70,000 to 100,000 is needed. Each catchment area for the proposed pools does not reach this threshold, nor does the catchment for the entire shire.

• The construction of a 50m pool would increase project costs by approximately 20 per cent and is almost three times more expensive to operate than a 25m pool.