Newry & Mourne District Council appointed Felix O’Hare & Co Ltd as main contractor for the construction of this new build £8.5m leisure centre, comprising a swimming pool, changing facilities, administration areas, plant room and associated external works in the heart of Newry City.
The project included the demolition of the existing swimming pool building and construction of the new building with a landscaped public plaza and car park for approximately 150 cars.
The project has been designed to meet exemplary sustainability and low carbon principles and will embody the goals set out in the Newry 2020 Low Carbon City targets. The facility will also achieve ‘Disability Sports Northern Ireland’s Inclusive Sports Facility’ accreditation.
Newry & Mourne District Council specified that the new facility must provide accessibility and functionality with a modern, high spec that would encapsulate the overall ambitious future vision for the town, enhancing yet complementing the existing town centre for residents and visitors.
From a hard landscaping perspective the key challenges were to create a look in keeping with the council’s bold vision and a paving solution capable of offering suitable levels of water drainage as part of a Sustainable Urban Design System (SUDS).
TerraPave® flags were selected as an essential element of the design agreed by architects Kennedy Fitzgerald, together with landscape architects, Soltys Brewster, who brought the external scheme to life.
The aim was to provide a neutral background for the new building and artistic planting element and to set them off attractively with a neutral palette of a greys.
The TerraPave® flags, manufactured from carefully selected granite materials from quarries throughout Europe and finished in ground and textured finishes, offered three greys to choose from.
Chosen as a fine quality concrete alternative to natural stone, which helps keep costs down on a publicly funded scheme such as this, they were also selected for conforming to current BREEAM sustainability criteria which AG build in as standard.
Jackie Harte of Soltys Brewster said: “TerraPave® is a proven and truly tested product that has been used in many similar situations. Because it is an ongoing product, if in future you need to do repairs it will be easier to carry out and to maintain the design using the same material.”
“TerraPave® is much better than the standard flag and offers a more attractive surface. Furthermore the flags are more easily maintained and retain their colour very well,” she added.
For other elements of the build, contractor, Felix O’Hare chose AG’s Xflo® Plaza permeable paving block system, specifically developed by AG to provide specifiers with an extensive range of high quality aesthetically pleasing block paving finishes.