Cambridge’s long-awaited swimming pool complex, to be known for the next decade as the Perry Aquatic Centre, was officially opened last Friday.
Waipā District Mayor Jim Mylchreest and Brian Perry Charitable Trust chairman Simon Perry cut the ribbon to the new Williamson St complex and a ceremonial plaque was also unveiled.
The $24 million centre has also been gifted the name Puna Kaukau o Te Oko Horoi by Ngāti Koroki Kahukura.
Mr Mylchreest said it was an important day for Waipā, and for Cambridge in particular. The community has been waiting for the opening with “enormous anticipation, and a degree of impatience”.
He acknowledged that the project had not been easy, despite the efforts of those involved, adding that Covid-19 had further delayed completion of the project. “There is a saying that ‘good things take time’ … that is what we should focus on. Thank you for your patience; I know the wait will be absolutely worth it.”
The new complex will offer health, fitness and recreational opportunities for the people of Waipā for years to come, Mr Mylchreest told guests. He also thanked the many sponsors, partners and other locals who had contributed to the project. They included the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, Trust Waikato, the Lotteries Grants Board, the Grassroots Trust, Frances Skeet Charitable Trust, APL, the Glenice and John Gallagher Foundation, Waipā Networks, ASB Bank, C & R Developments, the Lions Club of Cambridge, Shaws Wire Ropes, the Cambridge Arthritis Support Group, Shoof International, and Bayley’s Real Estate.
He said the efforts of the Cambridge Lions to get locals behind the project, and in particular those of the late Peter Knox, had been a turning point in the community fundraising campaign.
Simon Perry said the complex added another ‘jewel in the crown’ to Waipā, boosting the Trust’s existing involvement with other top facilities including the Don Rowlands Centre and Lake Karapiro, the Avantidrome and the Te Awa Cycleway.
“The cycleway, which will be completed this summer, connects all three jewels in the crown,” he said.
The community-owned aquatic facility will be managed by the Waipā Community Facilities Trust, GoWaipā, which was established to manage and operate aquatic facilities across the district.
In addition to the upgraded existing 50m outdoor pool, the new complex offers a new 10-lane 25m indoor pool, a toddler pool, hydrotherapy pool, spa, sauna, children’s splash pad and an outdoor play area.