Following an extensive two-year renovation and refurbishment programme, Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool is nearing completion.
The refurbishment programme at the Commonwealth Pool, known locally as ‘Commie Pool’, began in 2010 when work began to transform the centre into a 21st Century sporting facility. The £37 million Royal Commonwealth project is being implemented by The City of Edinburgh Council ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted at the centre.
Due to the building’s Grade A status, all work conducted on the site is being undertaken with the full consultation of Historic Scotland. Efforts are therefore being made to retain a number of the site’s original features, including the windows that surround the perimeter of the building. In addition, the Iroko ceilings and the Terrazzo floors located within foyer and reception areas are also being retained.
However, although a number of features will remain the same, extensive internal demolition works are taking place to upgrade the existing pool facilities.
GRAHAM Construction is the main contractor for the project, whilst S&P Architects is the architect and Buro Happold is the consulting engineer.
The first difference visitors will see when they visit Royal Commonwealth Pool is the division of the site’s main pool. The 50 metre pool has been extended by 1.5 metres and divided by a special boom in order to create two separate 25 metre pools.
Meanwhile, the diving area is being completely overhauled to create four platforms spanning 10 metres in height that reside alongside a ‘dry dive’ training area for competitors. Two temporary springboards are also included as part of the works.
All of the swimming pools at Commie Pool will contain ‘moving floors’ so that depth levels can be adjusted to accommodate a range of sports such as water polo, synchronised swimming, infant paddling and diving competitions.
Additional features include the introduction of a Clambers children’s soft play area, a revamped cafe and a new pool water treatment filtration unit. Three new fitness studios are also under construction and the gym is being expanded to include 70 pieces of new equipment.
Further improvements will be made to poolside showers, whilst changing facilities and office and conference areas will also be upgraded.
The Royal Commonwealth Pool will open in spring 2012.