Just over a year after work commenced on refurbishment of the 34-year-old Lakeland Forum, the front door re-opened at the new-look sports facility.
The re-opening of the front marks the coming finale of the £1.3 million first phase of the refurbishment. The final painting of all of the outside of the building will complete phase one. During works, patrons used the rear of the building for access to facilities.
Already the new colours at the front of the building are making their mark and are a major talking point. "One of the reasons for changing the colour of the building was that it is an old building and we thought -- let's try to modernise it and make a statement of it," said Robert Gibson, Director of Leisure, Tourism and Arts, Fermanagh District Council.
Phase one has included the introduction of energy efficiency measures, additional facilities for disabled users, a new viewing gallery for the swimming pool, new reception and office facilities and a revamp of the Erne room and main hall.
Phase two of the work will entail a refurbishment of the dry changing rooms while phase three will see an extension and re-equipping of the fitness room. Phase four will see the creation of a full-size flood-lit third-generation football pitch. Phase two is starting in the near future. Phases two and three of the works are expected to cost in the region of £400,000.
"We are delighted that the front is open and we are pleased with the response of our service users with regard to the new facilities that are being provided," said Mr. Gibson. "We got additional funding which allowed us to create new disabled car parking at the front, which delayed progress slightly. We were not doing that as part of phase one but when we got the funding we did not want to miss the opportunity," he said. As well as disabled car parking, there are family spaces and two bus/coach spaces. There is also a drop-off point at the front door.
The refurbishment work is part of a design and build project by McAleer and Teague, Dromore, County Tyrone and architect Mullarkey and Pedersen, who also designed the Waterways Ireland building on the opposite side of the River Erne, looked after design.
If you require further information on the refurbishment contact :
Acting Centre Manager: Liz Wilson
Tel: (028) 6632 4121
Fax: (028) 6632 8622