Leisure centre taking shape with internal walls, curtain walling and pool tiling

The internal walls of the leisure centre have now been completed to create the internal space. They are currently undergoing mechanical and electrical installation.

Ceramic tiling to the training pool has now finished and is under way in the main pool, along with tiling to the various changing room facilities. Decoration of the roof structure within the main pool hall is on-going.

Whilst the internal fit-out is taking shape, externally, work continues on cladding the building and installing curtain wall glazing and external doors to fully encapsulate the building. The specialist curtain walling will allow the outside to come into the leisure centre, by creating large glass facades and high level windows (in the sports hall).


atrium of leisure centre showing first floor mezzanin level and double heighted windows

Currently, the ceiling to the teaching pool hall is being constructed and preparations are being made for the installation of a moveable floor commencing 7 July.

The moveable floors in the learner pool and main pool hall can adjust the depth of the water to create an Olympic size pool for competitions, or with a central dividing raisable barrier can separate the pool into two pools for various usages. The moveable floor will sit on the ground of the tiled pool and can be adjusted using hydraulic rams.

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main pool hall ready for tiling

The new Waitrose shell is similarly progressing well with external ‘bronze’ cheese grater cladding finishes being applied to the main entrance area.

The back of house blockwork is complete and perimeter work has commenced for the service yard. Externally, the car park has taken shape and currently permeable paving is being added to the parking bays.

Lastly, the striking Coachway Park & Ride fair-faced concrete frame is now complete and plans are in place for roof coverings to commence in the next few weeks.

A404 junctions are progressing with the main leisure centre junction having been re-configured this month.

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Site visit from Leader of Wycombe District Council Cllr Katrina Wood

The first few tiles on the wall with Katrina Wood and Dominic Barnes

The first few tiles on the wall with Katrina Wood (R) and Dominic Barnes (L)


Leader Cllr Katrina Wood (R) and Deputy Leader Cllr Dominic Barnes (L) visited the Handy X Hub for the first time since taking the leadership roles at Wycombe District Council in early May. The visit involved a tour of the Handy X Hub site and laying the first tiles to the new Wycombe Leisure Centre pool hall.

Leader Cllr Katrina Wood commented: “I haven’t had any tiling experience before, so it was a real privilege to lay the first of what will be a good few thousand tiles in the 50 metre pool of the new leisure centre.

She further commented, “With the silver grey cladding being added to the outside, the vision for the new centre is fast becoming a reality. It’s been in the making for many years and our job now is to make sure that it’s finished on time, to a high standard and is ready to open to the public in January 2016.”

Once opened the centre will boast an eight-lane 50 metre pool with movable floor and sub-aqua dive pit.

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Progress on site in May 2015

Progress this month…

Considerable progress has been made this month at the Handy X Hub. Work to the external frames of the three buildings – the leisure centre, Waitrose and Coachway Park & Ride – is progressing well.

Casting for the ‘fair-faced’ concrete Coachway Park & Ride’ structure is almost complete providing a contrasting design to the whole space. We’ve now finished the roofing and blockwork and the buildings will soon be made water-tight. Work is now being done to add the distinctive cladding to the outside frame of the leisure centre and Waitrose store buildings.

Internally, the first floor fit-out is progressing – we have completed the squash courts, dance studios and viewing galleries to the sports hall and bowls hall.


outside facade to waitrose food hall showing entrance box


The Waitrose building has now had its floor slab poured, and the entrance ‘box’ is shaping-up with its dark glass window frontage having been installed. The ‘box’ has yet to gain its shiny metallic coloured rainscreen cladding made of perforated material, nick-named cheese-grater cladding. Currently, a roof-plant screen is being installed.

Leisure Centre


leisure centre sports hall exterior

At the leisure centre we’re working on the pool hall where we’re rendering and tiling the pool tank and the dry and wet change areas. The tiling at the teaching pool tank was completed earlier this month.

Additionally, floor to ceiling height glass walls are being installed in the pool halls to create an open interior space. This type of glazing, also known as ‘curtain walling’ gives largely unobstructed views from the inside looking out and greater visibility from the outside looking in to the pool and activities inside the centre.

The next stage at the leisure centre involves installing the outside rainscreen polished aluminium cladding to complement the black glazed clay facing brickwork. These bricks are produced using innovative kiln technology and will give the front of the leisure centre a special finishing touch and a durable finish.

In the next few weeks site contractors will lift and install the large Air Ventilation Units (AVUs), which are already on site, and finish off the remaining roof works.

Coachway Park & Ride

The concrete structure of the Coach way Park & Ride is now nearly complete and a second roof pour is expected early next week..  The paving work continues at the Coachway car park, part of which is now in use as overflow parking for the existing sports centre.

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Wycombe Leisure Centre to climb new heights

With construction at the leisure centre over the half way mark, Wycombe District Council has released images for an eight-metre-high climbing wall facility for the new leisure centre.

Located in the atrium of the leisure centre, the visually striking climbing wall will offer 17 climbing lines with over 50 different routes, up to ten-metres in length across a wide range of climbing grades (4+ to 7c).

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An artist impression of the new Leisure Centre climbing wall

People of all ages and abilities will be able to discover the benefits of climbing as a challenging activity. The climbing wall will be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities, with sessions starting from age four to adult level.

Open seven days a week, the facility will be managed by Places for People Leisure’s (PfPL) specialist climbing wall operator, High Sports, who will operate a full junior club programme, alongside family, taster and group sessions.

A comprehensive schools programme will also be offered, ranging from PE sessions through to GCSE PE, and an industry leading para-climbing club will also form part of the main activity programme.

The wall is designed to offer challenges for a range of abilities. For beginners, a standalone bouldering feature, finished with rock features and a soft floor, will allow new climbers to find their feet.

Experienced climbers will appreciate the dedicated training space, the frequent high-quality route setting and unique climbing faces, like a twin pinnacle chock-stone abseil ledge, which can be regularly adjusted to vary the level of complexity.

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Brick by brick: new Waitrose and leisure centre buildings close to water tight

The two main buildings are close to watertight, roofing having been completed with the siphonic rainwater drainage systems being installed (the scale of the roofs being such that the water gets sucked off it).

The black blockwork on Waitrose and black thin bricks on the leisure centre are close to completion, as is the white cladding on the former, with the aluminium cladding on the latter soon to start. It is already undergoing internal fit out, in excess of 90,000 blocks having been laid to construct the internal walls.


Casting the concrete roof of the coachway park and ride has started – possibly the longest bus shelter in the country!?  Its car park is two thirds complete (as is the Waitrose car park) – and the new ‘Junction A’, closest to Handy Cross roundabout, is shaping up.

Reconfiguration of Junction C (the existing Sports Centre Access Road) has started and this will involve temporary traffic lights, so apologies in advance if these don’t cope.  BCC Highways have said they will manually monitor them.  Once the modified junction is complete, the southbound carriageway has to be re-surfaced (come July time) which, again, will be a tricky operation.

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Changes to parking arrangements for Wycombe Sports Centre from Tuesday 5 May 2015

From Tuesday 5 May, the main sports centre car park will be partially closed and the number of parking spaces will be significantly reduced.

Parking for blue badge holders (disabled parking) and for the crèche and nursery drop-off will still be available in the current car park (see outline plan one below).

Parking for all other Wycombe Sports Centre users will be available at the new coachway park and ride site, just next door. This new car park provides over 100 spaces.

Road signage will direct you to the parking area and a designated pedestrian footpath, also signposted, will guide you between the car park and the sports centre (see outline plan two below).

You will need to allow additional journey time for the walk between the car park and the sports centre.

You will only be able to turn left towards the Handy Cross roundabout to exit the new car park at the coachway park and ride site.

Normal pay and display parking conditions will apply in both car parks.

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that the relocation of the car park may cause.

Outline plan two Blue badge bays and nursery drop off (2)

Outline plan one – blue badge holders’ parking and drop off-bays for the crèche/nursery

Outline plan one (2)

Outline plan two – new car park in relation to current car park, showing footpath route.

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Anticipating a year on…

Last week was the first time in a month for a walk around site, the highlight being standing in the first floor fitness suite in the new leisure centre (the floor of which has been cast the day before) and looking back into the main pool hall, with its precast concrete structure, for spectator seating, in place.


First floor of leisure centre looking out towards the current sports centre

The scale of the Waitrose food store is somewhat breath taking too – it is a large lofty space. The proximity between it and the rear walls of the Coachway Park & Ride is surprising, but the contractors assured me that there’s room enough for the spine road to snake through.To the rear of the foodstore, the service yard has been created by fitting sheet piling on to the motorway frontage; the levels of difference being another surprise (it’s one thing looking at it on a plan, and another standing on it on site).

The other areas which are progressing fast are the car parks for the foodstore and Coachway Park & Ride – part of the latter will become temporary over flow in April for the existing Wycombe Sports Centre, in place of its lower carpark (which will be developed as a decked carpark for the new Leisure Centre).

17 March 2015 is going to the first year anniversary of the construction contract, and in 12 months there is a lot to show for it!

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