Riverside Leisure Centre update
Published: 20 December 2018
The reopening of the pool and health suite at Exeter’s Riverside Leisure Centre will not take place early in the New Year as previously expected.
The building suffered fire and smoke damage to surface coatings, mechanical and engineering plant, roof decking and structural elements, as well as smoke damage throughout the facility, following the blaze in February 2017.
The sports hall, gym and fitness studios reopened to the public soon after the fire. But the pool and health suite remain closed.
The majority of the repairs from fire damage are nearing completion. However, the building contractor has uncovered defects to the building structure in the pool area and the roof that will require additional works.
These defects could not have been identified earlier as they have only recently come to light as materials have been removed to prepare for fire damage repairs.
A further building survey is underway to ensure that any further defects are identified now, so that the situation can be rectified and the pool can be reopened as soon as it is practicable to do so.
Until the contractor has finalised programmes with their sub-contractors, a precise date for fully reopening the facility cannot be given.
More details about the timescale for the reopening of the pool are expected in the New Year, when officers have assessed the technical reports and agreed the work programme with contractors.
The works have taken longer than anticipated due to additional works being discovered during the course of the fire reinstatement works.
The Riverside has a complex structure and the pool was modified prior to the council becoming responsible for the building in the early 2000s. The council does not have access to build drawings for the facility or many of these modifications, so each discovery has to be approached from first principles.
Some of the modifications made to the building were unknown until other rectification works were undertaken or parts of the building opened up, at which point additional works were identified.