The redevelopment is being carried out by leisure design and build expert, Createability, which has a long-standing relationship with Sencio, the company managing the leisure centre on behalf of Sevenoaks District Council. Createability assisted Sencio in developing the designs and specifications as well as carrying out the construction of the new facilities. The work is due to complete in spring 2018.
The glass-sided toddler pool hall currently sits within the centre’s wet-side, so significant work is needed to modify the area for dry-side use. This includes solar-reflective film for the windows to keep the area cool, as well as creating a false ceiling to house air conditioning. Structural alterations have facilitated a walkway being created to access the existing studio, new free weights area, fitness studio and new dedicated fitness changing. Engineers have also punched a new wet-side walkway through from the changing village to the learner pool and through into the main pool to ensure access to wet and dry facilities are separated.
Improvements are also being made to the layout of the first floor gym, which will increase space to 302m2 to include a functional training area, and allow for an enhanced free weights section on the ground floor. All new TechnoGym equipment will be installed throughout. The existing dance studio will also be refurbished. On the ground floor, old dry-side changing along with a disused spa will be stripped out to make room for new bespoke male and female changing for the fitness facilities.
“Sevenoaks Leisure Centre is a major hub within our community and is very well used. But the feel-good factor was starting to wane as all our classes get fully booked up and the gym is often packed,” said Jane Parish, CEO of Sencio Community Leisure. “The old-fashioned layout of the facilities meant the flow of members wasn’t working well, particularly for our female users, so we had to find a way to increase space within our existing four walls. Createability came up with some fantastic concepts. We have worked with the team on a number of projects, including a smaller redevelopment of the fitness facilities at Sevenoaks about 10 years ago and redevelopments of White Oak and Edenbridge Leisure Centres in 2005, so we are excited they are back to help us make this dream for first-class fitness facilities at Sevenoaks a reality.”
“We really have thought about every aspect of the design from a user’s point of view,” said Ian Cotgrave, Managing Director of Createability. “For instance, we’ve included a low-level screen between the female changing exit and the free weights area, so ladies don’t walk out of their changing area directly into the free weights section, but can go straight to the main studio, multi-use studio or up the stairs to the main gym.
“We are also carrying out changes to make the building work more efficiently, including the installation of doors from the main pool area into the gym to stop the escape of both heat and moisture, which over the years has led to paint peeling and wood rotting in the corridor, as well as letting heat escape from the pool, which meant the air conditioning units struggled to work in the gym.”
The reception area will also be remodelled to create a large 315m2 modern, welcoming environment with cafe area, and the entire site will also be redecorated to reflect the Sencio brand colours.
Createability is a design and build specialist working in the trust, local authority and education sectors. Over the last 20+ years, it has delivered more than 550 developments worth over £100m.