Ireland Premier Construction

Health centre has designs on excellence

Omagh Leisure centre
Written by Roma Publications

Omagh Leisure centre

Earning a coveted place on the RICS Northern Ireland Awards shortlist in the Tourism & Leisure category, is a completed project dramatically expanding and upgrading provision at Omagh Leisure centre in Ireland.

The project, carried out for Omagh District Council, comprised the construction of a new extension, the expansion of a health suite, the refurbishment of existing areas and the provision of new ancillary accommodation.

Architects, project managers and interior designers for the scheme, which was completed in June 2014, were Newenham Mulligan & Associates.

Main Contractors were Heron Bros Ltd; structural and civil engineers were Taylor & Boyd LLP; Mechanical, electrical and pool plant engineers were Integrated Services Design; quantity surveyors were KMCS Quantity surveyors and CDM co-ordinators were Taylor & Boyd LLP.

The original pool hall was demolished and the new extension is a glue-laminated timber structure which encloses the new 25m main six lane swimming pool, learner pool, toddler pools and spectator viewing areas, together with changing areas including communal, group, family and disabled facilities.

Rooflights and glazing to both sides of the pool hall are designed to provide diffused natural daylight while limiting glare from direct sunlight.

The ‘glue-laminated’ structure is both compatible with the swimming pool environment and provides a warm natural material in the space.

The combination of wood, water and neutral coloured tiling give the space a natural feeling, with specific areas highlighted in coloured mosaics for the children and toddler pools with children’s water feature

The pool level deck channel system, tank and deck dimensions are all to current swimming pool design standards, allowing for swimming galas and training.

A new communal changing ‘village’ features alternating rows of cubicles and lockers, providing clear and open access to and from the pool hall.

Externally the extension features curtain walling and glazing. The aluminium standing seam roof has profiled powder coated edge flashings and concealed gutters to reduce the visual impact of the insulated roof deck depth.

A new ‘services’ block was constructed to the south of the pool hall and includes outdoor changing rooms and first aid with direct access to the pool hall, as well as to external emergency vehicle access, pool store, children’s activity room at first floor level and plant areas with an enclosed service yard. This is expressed as a solid functional building element ‘bookending’ the open pool hall volume.

The centre’s existing health suite was also extended to incorporate a Jacuzzi/spa pool and relaxation area, and the existing main sports hall and community hall were refurbished.

The refurbished halls, together with a studio, provide indoor sports and activities facilities with new timber sports floors, acoustic wall panelling and services upgrade. A new additional fire exit from the major hall increases capacity, and blackout blinds to high level glazing cater for special events such as concerts and exhibitions.

A new administration core with meeting room and managers office has been created adjacent to the existing reception area at first floor level, and forms a centralised control node.

The project also included numerous energy efficiency measures and a DDA upgrade and measures to ensure universal accessibility to all the leisure facilities.

External works included hard and soft landscaping.

Fireglass Direct

Fireglass Direct have been in business over ten years. Innovation has been the key to the company’s success since it began trading and has helped it to become the market leader in bespoke glass solutions.

With an in-house design team Fireglass Direct can take a client’s project through from initial conception to completion and as part of the company’s drive for continuous improvement it has invested 1.6 Million in new machinery and training. All glass processing (ie. cutting, CNC, drilling, polishing, toughening etc) and all aluminium and steel fabrication is contained in-house.

Seamus O’Connor, Director of Fireglass Direct, said:

“Fireglass Direct’s team of specialist fitters will look after the installation from start to finish to meet our customers’ requirements and to ensure the architectural vision of the project is never compromised.

“Fireglass Direct have a good working relationship with a wide range of architectural practices and we have helped in the design, manufacture and installation of critical care suites at Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast as well as many other projects in Southern Ireland, UK and Europe.

“At present we are currently working on projects at Ellon Academy Aberdeen, Bristol Airport, Queens Vascular Belfast, UTV Studios Dublin and University of Surrey.”

Fireglass Direct have achieved Safe T Cert and Construction line accreditation demonstrating its commitment to promote good working practices and a safe working environment for everyone. The company is pleased to be associated with Herons Brothers on the Omagh Leisure Centre and Gilbert Ash on the Ravenhill projects.

Please visit to view more of the company’s projects.


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