ISG’s ‘ship in a bottle’ attempt on Monmouth Leisure Centre

ISG’s ‘ship in a bottle’ attempt on Monmouth Leisure Centre

In south-east Wales ISG is throwing off its armbands and diving straight in to the challenge provided by a community swimming pool.

Project: Monmouth Leisure Centre Refurbishment
Client: Alliance Leisure
Contract value: £7m
Contract type: JCT Design & Build
Main contractor: ISG
Piling subcontractor: Green Piling
Start date: October 2017
Completion date: February 2019

The swimming pool and spa have to be built within the existing sports hall
The swimming pool and spa have to be built within the existing sports hall
The rivers Wye and Monnow have helped shape the Welsh border town of Monmouth.

Without the two folding strategically around an outcrop of rock, the Romans could have ignored the site altogether and the Normans might not have built the town’s castle.

The River Monnow rushes past its Norman ramparts, but it is the Wye that dominates the town. And just a stone’s throw from its waters lies Monmouth Leisure Centre.

Despite being barely 20 years old, it echoes how tastes in sports and leisure facilities have changed. Now, contractor ISG is working on a £7m project that will bring it up to speed.

ISG is working with its client sports centre specialist Alliance Leisure to redevelop the facility for Monmouthshire County Council. Under the project, the existing building will be extended to provide a new soft play area, refurbished training and fitness studios, weights and toning studios, spa facilities and a 25 m five-lane swimming pool.

Trickier than it seems

Simple enough you would think – but this brief comes with a difficult caveat. The swimming pool and spa, set to be the centrepiece of the revamped centre, have to be built within the confines of the existing sports hall.

“There is no extra space for the leisure centre so the only place we could put the pool was in the sports hall” – Mark Gibson, ISG

“It gets quite complicated,” says ISG project lead Mark Gibson. “The leisure centre shares some of its facilities with Monmouth Comprehensive School – such as the existing sports hall and a swimming pool that wasn’t really fit for purpose. The school has been undergoing redevelopment and the old pool was demolished as part of this project.

“The comprehensive recently opened with completely new facilities on its campus. There is no extra space for the leisure centre, so the only place we could put the pool was in the sports hall.”

The ISG team split the project into three main phases. The first concerned work to provide the temporary sports hall – erected in the car park and boasting a sprung floor, heating and air conditioning as well as changing facilities – with all its power and services, while the main building work was divided between ‘dryside’ (see box) and ‘wetside’.

The wetside work involves trying to squeeze a 25 x 11 m five-lane swimming pool into an existing building, and has proven to be the construction equivalent of fitting a ship into a bottle.

Source: Construction News

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