A tour round the work on St Albans’ new Westminster Lodge leisure centre

11:29 31 March 2012

New Westminster Lodge swimming pool, St Albans.

New Westminster Lodge swimming pool, St Albans.

Archant

ALTHOUGH it may seem little more than a pile of steel and concrete at present, it is clear the new Westminster Lodge leisure centre will be a state-of-the-art facility when it’s completed.

The Herts Advertiser took a guided tour of the construction site last Wednesday to see how the work is progressing…

With the new roof recently installed, contractors Willmott Dixon are on course to complete the building by the end of August/early September.

It will then be handed over to the operators, who will be announced in June, in order for them to familiarise themselves with the building and fit it out ready for use.

Every detail has been carefully considered in order to cater for people of all ages across the community and it is hoped this will increase participation in exercise.

The existing centre is to be demolished once the new one is complete to make way for two new car parking areas. These will be linked to the new centre by a large public piazza.

Julie Simpson, project manager at St Albans District Council, said: “I’m very pleased with the progress of the project; I think it will be a fantastic facility for the residents of St Albans.

“The facilities are second to none and I’m sure people will be excited to come down and use them once the centre is completed.”

Here are some of the facilities the new centre will incorporate:

n Ground floor:

Once the work is completed, the ground floor will consist of a large reception area housing a climbing wall. There will also be a crèche and soft play area for children, which will be available for hire at certain times.

Coming off of the reception area will be a café and bistro, where people can relax after using the facilities.

The ground floor will also feature a large sports hall accommodating a range of courts, including four badminton courts.

The main feature will be the swimming area which will house three separate pools. There will be a shallow, confidence area pool to help those who are new to the water.

Next to that will be the training pool which will feature a moving floor to adjust the water depth.

Finally, there will be a 25-metre, 10-lane pool, which also has an adjustable floor and can be screened off from the other pools when being used by groups who request more privacy.

All pools are overlooked by a 240-seater spectator area, which also has dedicated spaces for wheelchair users.

Leading to the pools will be the large changing village.

n First floor:

The first floor will feature a large fitness suite housing 180 stations. There will also be a separate studio for spinning classes, with 20 bikes available. A glazed wall will run the length of the building to provide spectacular views of the Abbey and across Verulamium Park.

A youth gym is to be installed, with 25 stations for use by those aged between eight and 15.

Leading off of the gym area will be two separate exercise studios, each for up to 40 people at a time. A floating partition is to be installed between the two studios to enable them to be opened up for larger functions.

One of the standout features of the centre will be the spa area which will be split over the two floors.

Upstairs will include a chill out area and five separate treatment rooms. There will also be an outside terrace area, again with views across the park.

The downstairs area will feature a hydro spa, sauna, steam room and aromatherapy room.

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