Central Bedfordshire Council held a ‘topping out’ ceremony to celebrate the building construction of the new Dunstable Centre reaching its highest point.
The ceremony took place on Tuesday, July 10, at the Dunstable site, in Court Drive, attendees from Central Bedfordshire Council, and other key organisations took a tour of the construction site.
With £1m National Lottery funding from Sport England, the building will be a community hub that will provide a new leisure facility, new library, accommodation for a new Citizens Advice service, and day-care for adults with learning disabilities. The £20.1million centre is on-track to be opened in the winter 2018/2019.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “At a time when leisure centres and libraries across the country are closing, we are investing in new and improved facilities that will help our residents’ health and wellbeing.
“We are therefore delighted to celebrate reaching this key milestone in the redevelopment of this building. Works on the centre are well underway, with the building almost weather tight.
“We now have one complete building again, with the new buildings now fully connected to the existing ones. The new roofs have been progressing well, with the roof over the swimming pool and sports hall now complete.
“The previous leisure centre and library were no longer fit for purpose or cost effective to run. Both required substantial improvements, so we embarked on a comprehensive redevelopment of the old leisure centre to create this new building instead.
“By bringing services together under one roof, the new combined facility will reduce running costs, while providing more flexible services to the community, such as improved opening hours for public services.”
The new facility will have a modern leisure centre with a 100-station gym, 4 studios, 25-metre swimming pool, learner pool and a new viewing gallery.
There will be new changing rooms for the swimming pools, and two more new changing rooms: one on the ground floor to service the sports hall, squash courts and studio space; and one on the first floor for the gym.
The centre will also include a café and a library, with a new digital offer including public computers, iPads and a gaming zone, flexible space for activities, a children’s zone, and new facilities for teenagers.