11:23AM, Friday 20 March 2020
With the exterior of the Braywick Leisure almost completely finished, with the explicit ‘hairpin’ frontage easily visible from Braywick Road, work is now well underway on the innards of the new building.
The 10 lane, 25metre-long swimming pool has been installed and is now waiting to be tiled and filled. The main sports hall and the cultural hall, which can double as a 650-seater theatre are in place and waiting to be furnished with wood flooring and curtains, and some of the equiptment in the gym has already been installed.
The official opening date is set for Saturday March 5. Its predecessor, the Magnet Leisure Centre, will shut its doors on Friday, March 4.
A visitors enter the new facility, they will enter a large, open hallway containing the reception desk. On the left will be the cafe, which will overlook the pool and has bifold doors that can open to the outdoors during the summer so people can sit outside.
The pool, which is almost square because it is so wide, will have a maximum depth of 1.6metres so that it can be easily used by synchronised swimmers.
There will also be a smaller learners pool, a ‘beach’ paddling area for the youngest children and also a water play area with a slide and other apparatus. There will also be a unisex changing village and several disability changing areas.
If guests enter the building and turn right, they will encounter the culture hall and the main sports hall, both to be decked with a ground-wood flooring. Towards the back is the health suite, containing sauna and steam room. There will also be an escape room contained int he building.
Upstairs, the gym spans the entire width of the building, located at the front and looking out over the car park.
Also upstairs will be a spinning room and four squash courts, two of which can be converted into a dance studio.
Outside will be a ‘half size’ 40metre by 60metre 3G rubber crumb football pitch and six netball and tennis courts.
Speaking to the Advertiser after giving a reporter a tour of the building, Kevin Mist, Royal Borough head of communities and economic development, said: “It has been transformed from what was a building site to almost a finished product.
“It’s great to see, we are moving to the final phases.”
He added that the council had received quotes from four bus companies, with a view to setting up a shuttle bus service from the site of the Magnet Leisure Centre to Braywick every 20 minutes.
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