Riversdale to close for upgrade

RIVERSDALE Leisure Centre could be set to close for a spell this summer to allow upgrade works to take place.

Although dates and times have not yet been decided upon by council, it is understood that the revamp of facilities – an upgrade to shower and changing – could begin as early as August.

It has also been suggested that the reopening of the leisure centre could coincide with a special birthday bash, to mark 40 years of Riversdale in Strabane.

“The renovations could start as early as August and the centre will have to close for a time to let that happen,” Strabane independent councillor, Paul Gallagher explained. “So it would be good when it’s up and running again to have some kind of celebration.”

Last year it was confirmed by council that some £60,000 would be spent on an upgrade to shower and changing facilities at Riversdale. 

This week it was also confirmed that following the revamp  a pilot scheme will be instigated to extend the opening hours to accommodate users seeking to avail of early morning gym or swim sessions.

“The closure will be done to coincide with that time of year when Riversdale has its minimum usage, so that it causes minimum disruption,” Cllr Gallagher continued.

“But with this and with the extended opening hours, it’ll good to see the facility being moved into the 21st Century.”

When contacted this week in relation to the closures and associated works at Riversdale a spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that there is currently an ongoing tender process in place in relation to changing room upgrades for Riversdale Leisure Centre and that “no decisions on closures have been made at this stage.”

“As the process is still live it would be inappropriate to discuss these details at present,” they said. 

“No details on the celebration of the 40th anniversary have been agreed at this stage.”

Strabane Sinn Féin councillor Karina Carlin welcomed the pilot scheme for extended opening hours.

 “I am delighted that the committee has adopted this proposal which will see extended opening hours operating initially on a year pilot basis as and from September.

“This will mean that the Riversdale facilities will be open to the public from: 6.30am-10pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9.15am-10pm Tuesday and Thursday; 9am-5pm Saturday and 12noon-5pm Sunday. The estimated cost of the additional opening hours is £40,000 but this will be money well invested as it will lead to a healthy increase in usage figures as well as the knock-on health benefits this will have.”

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