MONTROSE’S new, state-of-the-art swimming pool is not only impressively on its way towards completion, but it is on schedule.
The Review was a guest of Angus Council on Friday on a tour of the building, which is starting to have ‘clothes’ applied to its steel skeleton.
It was possible to visualise the spacious reception area and the vast spiral staircase that will take users of the building to the 100-seat viewing area, as well as the fitness suite. The suite will have an area of 250 square metres, compared to its predecessor’s 100.
There will be also be a lift to the upper floor, as many of the fitness suite machines are suitable for wheelchair users.
Toilets will be included upstairs and downstairs, and it is our understanding that the downstairs facilities will also be available to members of the public.
The main pool, 25 metres by six lanes, is in the early stages of construction, but has been designed to sportscotland’s exacting standards which allowed them to contribute £1 million of the £9 million total cost. It is also suitable for water polo.
The ‘studio pool’ is also under construction. It is possible to vary the depth from some two metres, to a flat floor, via almost any depth between. This is achieved because the pool’s floor floats, and in order to deepen it staff have to use machinery to pull it down.
The pool is therefore suitable for anyone from an experienced swimmer to toddlers.
Glazed areas in the building will deflect noise.
A bio-mass boiler will be located in a large building in the grounds, fuelled by wood chippings. It was explained that this fuel does best when working hard, and that a pool is an energy-hungry building, particularly in the winter.
The ventilation system has a facility to retain heat while expelling foul air.
Among spin-off benefits, pupils going to the leisure centre will be able to use a new route through the perimeter wall of the school. They will not, of course, use the inside of the new building as part of their route.
Ogilvie Construction took possession of the site on April 5 this year, and will complete their part of the work towards the end of August.
The building then has to be fitted out with equipment, and staff trained, before the new pool and fitness suite open to the public a year from now, in October, 2012.
After the site visit Councillor Mark Salmond said: “I am extremely proud of what I have seen today. I have championed this project since its inception and steered it through all the committee process to get the final build decision last December. It was a great feeling to have watched the building rise from the ground, and to have finally been able to get inside and see the two new pools taking shape was a fantastic experience.
He added: “Being shown around the site gave me a great impression of what the final building will look like and I am very impressed by what I saw. The design team has done a fantastic job in building in all the features to make this new swimming pool and leisure centre one of the premier leisure destinations in the north-east of Scotland.”
He concluded: “The Scottish Government’s grant of £1 million through sportscotland to this projected was most welcome. Angus Council’s design team has worked with sportscotland through to the final design, so the new pool meets all the latest swimming standards and all the facilities are in place to allow swimming galas at competition level, something that should be welcomed by all the local swimming clubs.”
* You can follow the progress of the project 24/7 via the live webcam at www.angus.gov.uk/montrosesportscentre