FROM empty to half full in just over a week, visitors to Stratford Leisure Centre should soon be having a splashing good time.
Part of a wider £5 million refurbishment project, some of the council-owned building and its facilities are being upgraded for the first time in more than three decades.
These include the Bridgefoot centre’s main swimming pool, which will be replaced by a temporary one while refurbishments are carried out.
In mid-September the temporary pool (pictured) began to take shape outside the sports hall in the car park and – subject to adding a bit more water – should be complete by the end of the month.
The pool area and its water will be heated to the same temperature as normal and the faciity will be used in addition to the main pool, which will continue to offer its normal programme of swimming lessons, public swimming and parties until December 2014.
Then from January, visitors will swim in the temporary pool – provided by Total Swimming as part of the British Gas ‘Pools for Schools Programme’ – while the main one is closed to the public.
The swimming pool will then reopen next May just ahead of the start of the refurbishment’s second phase.
The first phase will see a new swimming pool, wet-side changing rooms, rear entrance, and café built while the second phase is expected to last around four months and will include changes to the sports hall, a new front entrance, reception area, dance studio and the construction of a £289,000 climbing wall.
The revamp was originally scheduled to begin in August but delays meant the start date was pushed back into the new year.
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 works should be completed by August next year and the centre is expected to remain open while refurbishments are carried out.