Perspective of UQ aquatic centre (courtesy m3architecture)
Perspective of UQ aquatic centre (courtesy m3architecture)
15 September 2011

The University of Queensland aquatic centre, which suffered major damage in the Brisbane January floods, is set to reopen to patrons in time for Christmas.

UQ Deputy Director of Property and Facilities Division Geoff Dennis said although most of the academic facilities at UQ were unscathed by the 2011 floods, its sporting facilities, including the David Theile Olympic Pool took a “big hit”.

“The full extent of damage to the aquatic centre’s services was not fully appreciated until works commenced,” he said.

“The University’s contractors have been working full tilt to provide the University community and the general public with a facility that has significantly more undercover area than before and is a lot more environmentally sustainable."

Mr Dennis thanked the University community and the general public for their patience during the refurbishment period.

“We know everyone is as keen as we are for the pool to re-open but we need to do things right,” he said.

“The University did consider doing a staged reopening, but on balance we believed this might further delay final construction works.

“Our main focus is to ensure the safety and well-being of all users.

“A December opening will ultimately result in a better facility that is designed to be energy efficient and accommodates the needs of UQ into the future.”

Mr Dennis said the University’s aim in redeveloping the aquatic centre was to provide users with a modern, safe and efficient facility that reflected the sub-tropical climate of Brisbane and the environmental focus of UQ.

He said the aquatic centre facilities and associated services were 35 years old before the floods hit.

“Once the construction is completed, the public will have access to a 100 per cent refurbished new facility,” he said.

“This will include a 50 metre Olympic standard pool, and the latest technology in pool plant design that saves energy, water and is very quiet.

“Upgraded services include an underground water storage system, environmentally friendly showers, and 1800 square metres of shading.

“Some important considerations in the refurbishment were that we should save water and power and reduce pollution and CO2 emissions.

“We’ve even recycled the soil, reusing fresh soil from Brisbane’s tunnel excavations.”

The new facility would have room for expansion with an extensive piping and services network.

It is expected to open in the week of December 19 to 23.

Note: The David Theile Olympic Pool is named after Dr David Theile, the first Olympic gold medallist from The University of Queensland, who won gold medals for the 100 metres backstroke event at the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956 and Rome in 1960. He was the first man to win backstroke events at two Olympics in succession. Dr Theile (Senior) graduated MBBS with Honours from The University of Queensland in 1962, and has had a long and distinguished career in clinical practice, culminating in his appointment as Metropolitan South District Chief Executive Officer in 2008.

Media: Jan King 0413 601 248