Aquatic centre revamp gives youth own space

GLADSTONE youth will have a new space to call their own after a revamp at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre that will include a light show area.

The centre's grassy knoll will be landscaped into a youth space as part of Animating Spaces Gladstone Frolic, a community based multi-arts project.

Gladstone Regional Council parks and recreation portfolio spokesman Graham McDonald said discussions between Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum staff and community artists began last year, to design an open space within the aquatic centre that would appeal to young people.

"A review of the centre's operations began in late 2012 and resulted in suggestions of improving the usage of the facility by families with children and young people," Cr McDonald said.

"The construction of the children's water play park Splash Zone has achieved this by increasing the patronage of young children under the age of 12 years and their families.

"This new project is about attracting more youth to the centre by providing them with a specific area of their own."

An initiative of Artslink Queensland, the Animating Spaces project aims to revitalise and celebrate significant, non-traditional or unusual spaces within regional communities across Queensland.

The Gladstone region secured $60,000 in funding through the program for three projects:

  • By the Pool, the crafting of a youth space at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre;
  • In the Park, transforming the parkland around the precinct, including the Gladstone and District Tennis Association centre, into an entertainment precinct for 14 to 28 year-olds to showcase their talents
  • With Light, which will complete the event with digital colour and movement projected on to the exterior walls of the Gladstone Squash Centre

Completion of the three projects will celebrated on September 27.

Project co-ordinator Kristel Kelly has developed plans which include a renewable art wall to give local high schools the chance to display large scale art works, a large scale public mosaic installation within the area, and possible construction of gabion seating walls.