New Witney Leisure Centre Extension Opens
After months of refurbishment and construction work costing over £1.5m, the Windrush Leisure Centre extension is now open in Witney.
The 445m2 extension has a distinctive semicircular design with a nautical theme. The exterior, clad with cedar wood, has porthole windows and white sail cloth spanning over the entrance.
Once inside, visitors enter a bright, spacious reception area, which gives a completely new look and feel to the Leisure Centre. The extension houses new swimming pool changing rooms, which are both single sex and 'village' style, so families can stay together.
The high ceiling exposes a wooden structure and large duct pipes which are part of the contemporary nautical design. Seascape colours have been used with blues and greens and a sandstone coloured floor.
Cllr Tony Walker is the Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism. He said: “This project is part of a significant £10m investment in leisure facilities by the District Council. Projects started in 1998 and have
included new leisure centres in Chipping Norton and Carterton.”
Improving accessibility has been one of the key aims of the building works and commenting on this Cllr Walker goes on to say, “Now wheelchair users, parents with pushchairs and anyone with mobility difficulties will find the changing rooms more accessible. Getting around the Centre is also easier with a new lift to the first floor cafe and viewing galleries.”
Previously pedestrians had to walk to the main entrance through the car park, but there is now a car-free zone adjacent to reception. Schools and large groups arriving by coach can be dropped off in a lay-by just off Witan Way, opposite to the reception entrance.
Wycombe Leisure Ltd manages the Windrush Leisure Centre for the District Council and Manager, Ben Border, is delighted with the new extension. He said, “The Windrush Leisure Centre is very popular with an average of 400 people using the swimming pool each day. We have already had a lot of favourable comments about the new facilities. The extension brings in a lot of natural light and much more space. It is much better environment for our customers.”
Although the new extension is open, full completion of the works and formal handover by the construction company will be later in September. Still to be completed are car park re-surfacing and lining along with traffic calming measures, which are being added for additional safety to the one-way traffic system. There are also some very minor finishing off works being completed within the Centre.
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