Doors close for final time at old leisure complex

Doors close for final time at old leisure complex

7 November 2018

LAST Saturday marked the end of an era when the Down Leisure Centre closed its doors to the public for the final time, ahead of the formal opening of its £16m replacement at the end of this month.

The doors of the old centre closed at 5pm and there will be no indoor leisure provision at Market Street until the doors of the ultra-modern, multi-million pound replacement open at 6.30am on Monday, November 26.

Last Saturday was also the final session in the centre’s swimming pool for the Downpatrick School of Lifesaving.

The organisation has held weekly lifesaving sessions since the old centre opened, with all those associated with the School of Lifesaving enjoying a positive rapport with both leisure staff and management. 

Everyone associated with the lifesaving school is looking forward to continuing the good relationship in the ultra-modern new leisure centre when it opens.

Last weekend, School of Lifesaving principal Donny Maguire blew the whistle for the last time, with everyone eagerly looking forward to the opening of the new pool in the £16m leisure centre.

The stunning three-storey facility boasts a range of facilities which would rival any of those more commonly found in leisure complexes attached to five star hotels.

Facilities include an 85 station wellness gymnasium featuring the latest equipment, a 26 station spin studio, 25 metre six lane swimming pool, luxury vitality health suite including a sauna, steam room and vitality pool.

There are sports halls and multi-purpose space and a teaching pool with moveable floor. The fantastic health suite also comes with its own dedicated relaxation area.

While the formal opening of the new centre has been pencilled in for November 26, there will be a special launch weekend over the previous two days to provide the public with a sneak peak of the new 6,500 square metre, futuristic facility.

During the transition from the old centre to its modern replacement, Newry, Mourne and Down Council officials are asking the public to use the local authority’s nearby facilities at the Ballymote Health and Well-Being Centre in Downpatrick.

Council officials are delighted with the new centre, in particular, the new teaching pool which will allow the new centre to provide a lot more swimming classes and education training for teachers, allowing full access to the main pool for other swimmers.

Over recent years, there has been increasing pressure on swimming classes at the Down Leisure Centre which council officials are confident will soon ease.

Mains gas has been connected to the new multi-million pound building which also boasts a combined heat and power source, helping minimise its carbon footprint, while photovoltaic cells fitted on the roof of the building will help heat the water in the pools and shower systems across a number of changing room areas. 

In addition, air source heat pumps sucks in cold air from the outside and turns into warm air, while ocalux glass allows natural light to stream into the building on the ground floor, while there are miles of pipework and electric cables within the plant room, the new leisure complex’s nerve centre.

Now that the old leisure centre has been officially closed to the public, work will start over the coming weeks to bulldoze the building and remove the rubble from the site, paving the way for the provision of a major new car park.