Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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The 'Big Spalsh' event - Opening of the Geelong College Recreation Centre, 13 November, 1999.

The 'Big Splash' Event - Opening of the Geelong College Recreation Centre, 13 November, 1999.


Plans conceived in 1967 for the Recreation Centre (Rolland Centre) envisaged a swimming pool as the third stage of that development although it was not until 1999 that the vision became reality and the Geelong College Recreation Centre was constructed.

Opened by Old Collegian and Commonwealth and Olympic medal-winning swimmer Peter Doak on 13 November, 1999 at the ‘Big Splash’ event, the Centre is characterized by its clean open interior and the huge expanse of windows and sliding doors on the northern and western walls which link it visually to the green vista of the main oval. Designed by McGlashan Everist Architects and constructed by Max Findlay and Associates, the aquatic centre boasts an eight lane 25 metre, variable depth heated pool built to FINA standards, an indoor diving pool with one metre and three metre diving boards, seating for spectators, extensive changing rooms and new staff offices. The spectacular design features a broad expanse of ceiling, with natural light entering through a full length skylight.

An underground heating system ensures that warm air is directed up the glazed walls to prevent fogging. At the same time a new Year 12 Common Room was built upstairs next to the Aerobics Room.

Total project cost was about $3.5 million with about $2 million being raised through direct fund-raising in a campaign led by two Old Collegians - Campaign Chairman, Peter Betts and Key Gifts Chairman, Frank Herd.

The pool was first used on 24 November, 1999. The new Centre allowed the College to re-introduce an APS boys’ sports program of swimming and diving and introduce water-polo. The Centre provides community access with individuals, families and other schools frequent users.

Sources: The Big Splash-Ad Astra No 94 December 1999 pp7-9.
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