Excitement is building for Wai O Rua - Stratford Aquatic Centre.
Excitement is building for Wai O Rua - Stratford Aquatic Centre to officially open its doors on Thursday 13 October. Delivered by Apollo Projects on budget, the construction team thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Stratford District Council to deliver this project in time for summer.
“Stratford’s last community pool was built in 1924, so returning to my hometown and being involved in the successful delivery of this new facility has been pretty special,” Project Manager Larry Osborn said.
On Monday, a blessing of the new aquatic centre was led by Ngāruahine, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāti Maru, with project team members, local MPs, elected members, staff and user groups in attendance. Stratford District Council (SDC) partnered with local iwi whose contributions, including design elements and the gift of the name ‘Wai O Rua’, have enriched the end result. An initial blessing for the construction site was led by iwi with SDC in February 2021, before building work started.
District Mayor Neil Volzke said the opening of the Stratford Aquatic Centre is an exciting time for the community. “This outstanding new facility provides significant improvements and increased levels of service in a more comfortable indoor swimming pool experience,” he says. “It has something for everyone, and will be enjoyed by not only Stratford residents, but by people right across our region.”
With something for everyone, the centre includes an eight-lane 25 metre competition pool, 25 metre programme pool, learn to swim area, and dedicated pool for toddlers. The facility also hosts a zero-depth splash pad, fully kitted out with a range of interactive water toys. For those spectating, there is ample inbuilt seating and unique pop out windows that provide full sun and picturesque views of the mountains.
Wai O Rua - Stratford Aquatic Centre was very much a community project, which Apollo Projects enjoyed delivering with about 75% of all trades sourced from the Taranaki region. “We always like to prioritise the involvement of local contractors and consultants,” Apollo Projects Director Craig Waghorn said. “We want to share the economic benefits and really include communities as much as possible in their new facilities.” COVID-19 challenges meant this project was not always straight forward and Waghorn has praised the project team for their planning and problem solving. “Everyone collaborated really well, and it was an absolute pleasure working with Stratford District Council,” Waghorn said.
“Now, we just can’t wait to see the facility open,” Osborn said. “I’ve already got my togs and towel packed!”
Apollo Projects www.apolloprojects.co.nz