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College is centred on sport

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Fitness Suite Steel George Watson CollegeEdinburghExisting sports facilities at George Watson College in Edinburgh are undergoing a £6 redevelopment to provide multipurpose fitness facilities designed for the 21st century.

The impressive new facilities will be known as the George Watson College Centre for Sport.

The school campus was constructed in the 1930s, so the old sports facilities were in need of considerable updating.

Contractor AKP Scotland is undertaking the project, led by Smith Scott Mullan Associates, a Scottish architectural practice, to comprehensively redevelop the facilities at George Watson’s College Centre for Sport.

The project includes re-roofing and re-glazing of the original sports facility, rebuilding the swimming pool hall, rationalising and expanding the changing facilities, comprehensively upgrading the original gym facilities and creating a modern fitness suite.Swimming Pool Hall Steel George Watson College Edinburgh

Within the original building, the project includes the creation of a central hub incorporating windows overlooking the swimming pool.

The new fitness suite extension will be in keeping with the existing building and will incorporate a new gym studio and a fitness room with a mezzanine floor and large glazed areas giving views of the Pentland Hills beyond.

Construction work, due for completion before Easter 2012, is progressing well with roofing works almost complete and the new facility will shortly be wind and water tight.

The steel frame, blockwork and roof for the fitness suite extension, which replaces demolished squash courts, are now in place.

Building work on the swimming pool has also now commenced some time ago due to the extensive nature of the demolition work involved in its restructuring.   External walls were taken down and rebuilt and this will see the original pillars of the former swimming pool have been removed to create a more open interior creating a view directly into the pool hall and a valuable gathering space or “hub”.View from Fitness Suite  George Watson College Edinburgh

Mr Gareth Edwards College Principal said: “Despite a severe winter which delayed the start of the project, AKP Scotland has brought the project back on track, on schedule and within budget, so we are happy.”

The facilities, once opened, will be used for curricular activities by upwards of 2,300 children from nursery age to 18 years, and, out of school hours, will also be open to the wider community, as well as sports and youth clubs, football academies and other organizations.

He added: “The new facilities will offer flexibility to take account of the changing needs of the curriculum. They will also ensure that we have sports facilities second to none in a Scottish school on a single campus.”

The school was created as a Charitable Hospital in 1741. The Hospital was the legacy of merchant and financier George Watson; today, the George Watson’s Family Foundation continues this legacy, raising funds for bursary support.

In July 1870 the Merchant Company was granted powers by Parliament to reform all the hospital under its management, and along with the other Merchant Company Schools, George Watson’s Hospital was remodelled into a day school.

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