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Ulster leisure centre rises with steel

July 12, 2017 by NSC in Weekly News
Working on behalf of main contractor Heron Bros, Walter Watson will erect 650t of structural steel for the Newtownards Leisure Centre currently being built in County Down.

The £30M facility will replace an existing leisure centre when it opens at the end of 2018.

The complex will offer a range of sports, recreation and family leisure facilities, including a six-lane 25m-long swimming pool, 20m-long teaching pool (both with moveable floors), water splash play and paddling pool, spa area, six-court sports hall, fitness suite, dance, cycle, spin studios, indoor soft play and a café area.

It will also have an outdoor covered sports pitch, outdoor adventure play area, wheel park provision and a bike track.

The scheme has adopted a hybrid design, with structural steelwork being used for large parts of the leisure centre, especially those areas with long spans.

Structural engineer for the project is WYG, and its Director Stephen Alford said: “Leisure centres are usually complex structures as they have to accommodate numerous facilities under one roof. This project is no different, and so we’ve had to use different materials to achieve the finish and build the client required.”

The main steel element of the scheme is the sports hall which is formed with a series of 20m-long cellular beams. The cellular beams have been used for their efficiency and to allow ductwork and other services to be accommodated easily within the steelwork’s depth.

A series of 10m-high columns, founded on piled foundations, support the cellular roof rafters.

Attached to the sports hall, which measures 20m x 30m, is a slightly smaller flexible space unit, formed with 15m-long cellular roof rafters

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