A new £8 million state-of-the-art leisure centre is under construction on Western Boulevard, next to De Montfort University’s current John Sandford Sports Centre in Leicester’s West End.
The centre will boast a 25-metre six-lane swimming pool, a fitness gym and multipurpose studios that can be used for activities such as aerobics, pilates and yoga. Further facilities include a climbing wall, a cafe and eight courts for sports such as basketball, badminton, netball and five-a-side football.
Umesh Desai, Deputy Director of Estates at De Montfort University, commented:
“The new facility will be a fantastic addition to the university and will provide a landmark entrance to the campus from the West End.
“It is great that we have some of the leading experts in the field working on the project – from the design right through to the build itself. We are really please that everything is on schedule and that we are on track for a July completion.
Works began in April 2011 and the centre is being built by leading UK construction, infrastructure and design company Morgan Sindall. Architects for the project are S&P Architects, who are also responsible for the detailed design of the London Olympics 2012 Aquatics Centre.
Mark Gowdridge, Project Architect at S&P Architects, commented:
“The university wanted a facility that would serve as a landmark with an iconic feel. Glass is used dynamically throughout the building in order to create motion and activity, whilst the use of natural cedar tongue and groove wood creates a feeling of warmth.
“The building has also been designed with features that have metallic outer shells and cedar-lined interiors. These form towers and overhangs, creating views in and through the building to public areas whilst also creating filtered light inside.
“The leisure centre was designed with careful attention to accessibility and sustainability. Sustainable principles are employed throughout the building; including the use of natural daylight, zoned lighting control and passive ventilation systems.”
Nick Seddon, Area Manager at Morgan Sindall, added:
“Morgan Sindall has a wealth of experience in both the leisure and higher education sectors and we’re delighted to be able to utilise this on the project. The new leisure centre will provide fantastic facilities for both DMU students and the general public.”
To tie in with the start of the Olympics, De Montfort University will be offering taster sessions and tours when the doors to their new facility open on Monday 30th July 2012.
During the two-week period between 30th July and 17th August, members of the local community – along with staff and students – will be able to take advantage of a range of exciting facilities. These include the swimming pool, climbing wall, courts and fitness classes. Visitors will also be offered a tour of the new state-of-the-art gym.
Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice Chancellor of De Montfort University, said:
“We hope that during the Olympics everyone will be taking a keen interest in sport, so I’m really pleased that we are able to offer two weeks of free taster sessions to local residents.
“At DMU we believe that universities should be a public building and that they should make a positive impact in the local community. We are already achieving this through our award-winning Square Mile project and the great work of our student volunteers, but I hope that the opening of this facility will encourage more interaction and I look forward to seeing more local residents on the campus.”
Opening times will be Monday-Friday (7am-10pm), Saturday (8am-6pm) and Sunday (9am-6pm). The swimming pool will be open subject to use by classes and clubs; whilst the courts, classes and climbing wall will require booking.