STRATFORD Leisure Centre’s £5 million facelift will begin in January – five months later than originally planned.
Part of a wider project – to include the construction of a £289,000 climbing wall – some of the council-owned building and its facilities are being upgraded for the first time in more than three decades.
The revamp was scheduled to begin in August but delays meant the start date was pushed back into the new year.
It will now take place in two phases, the first of which will see a new swimming pool, wet-side changing rooms, rear entrance, and café built.
A temporary pool is set to be installed outside the sports hall in the car park from October although the normal pool programme of swimming lessons, public swimming and parties will continue until December 2014.
Then from January until May, visitors will use the temporary pool, which is being provided as part of the British Gas ‘Pools for Schools Programme’, while the main one is closed to the public.
The temporary pool area and its water will be heated to the same temperature as leisure centre users are used to.
The swimming pool will then reopen next May just ahead of the start of the refurbishment’s second phase.
This is expected to last around four months and will see changes to and the construction of a sports hall, new front entrance, reception area, dance studio and climbing wall.
District council finance spokeswoman, Coun Lynda Organ this week confirmed the plans are to be carried out by the preferred contractor, Speller Metcalfe.
The leisure centre will be fully operational until early January 2015 although some site preparation work will be taking place in December.
It is anticipated the contracted works should be completed by August 2015 and the centre itself is expected to remain open while refurbishments are carried out.
Stratford Leisure Centre celebrated its 40th birthday in April and currently attracts in excess of half a million visits each year.
Visit www.stratford.gov.uk or www.everyoneactive.com for further information.