Twenty years ago today, more than 200 eager swimmers turned out to be the first to test the waters of Raymond Terrace's big new attraction - the swimming pools.
The $5 million Port Stephens Council-owned Lakeside Leisure Centre opened its doors to the public on February 7, 2000.
As the Examiner reported in its February 9, 2000 edition (see the story in the picture gallery above), the centre's indoor heated pool with fountains and outdoor 50m pool with wheelchair access were an instant hit with swimmers.
The centre was initially due to open in September 1999 but consistent rain significantly delayed construction. The pools opened to the public early in 2000 and an official opening ceremony was held at the centre on February 26 and 27, 2000.
In 2015, Belgravia Leisure took over the contract to manage the Port's three aquatic centres - in Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay and Mallabula - from the YMCA, which held the contract for five years.