The new Blackwater Aquatic Centre has taken out the award for design and construction of public works projects over $10 million at this year’s Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland (IPWEAQ) Excellence Awards.
The awards recognise councils and individuals who have demonstrated best practice and innovation in public works projects across Queensland.
Central Highlands Regional Council collected the award for the new state-of-the-art aquatic centre at the Hunter Street Sports Precinct in Blackwater.
The new modern aquatic facility sits adjacent to other sporting fields and has been designed to enable multi-purpose use all year round.
It boasts a FINA standard 50 m partially covered 10-lane pool, a fully covered heated 25 m six-lane pool, a zero-depth splash pad, a community meeting space, kiosk, control and plant rooms and two amenities blocks.
The $14.7 million project, which was jointly funded by the Australian Government, council and BMA, was also successful at the Central Queensland Master Builders Awards in Rockhampton recently.
Contractors Hutchinson Builders were recognised for the Central Queensland Project of the Year, as well as awards for Sporting Facilities and Commercial Building up to $5 million.
Rockhampton Team Leader of Hutchinson Builders Kevin Whitaker said the team strived to make the centre stand out from the local area and provide a peaceful haven in the west.
‘It’s hard to describe really, you don’t do a project like this very often,’ he said.
After eight years in the company, Mr Whitaker said the stand out features that contributed to the win were the locally sourced materials.
Mr Whitaker said Hutchinson Builders coordinated the construction of rammed earth walls, especially designed to control the temperature of the facility’s buildings.
The centre also includes 30 kW solar farm, which Mr Whitaker said was a very uncommon addition to similar developments.
‘In a regional area affected by the resource industry downturn, we have created a world-class facility that the community is very proud of,’ Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes said.
‘This isn’t just a pool, it’s a local meeting hub, a social oasis and of course a top-grade sporting facility. I commend everyone involved in this project on their dedication, vision and professionalism, from the contractors and subcontractors to the designers and SEEC Pty Ltd for their project management.
‘In particular, I would like to thank project manager Carol Vertigan for her leadership, patience and determination in making this project a reality.
‘Well done to all and congratulations on this well-deserved industry recognition.’