THE developer behind the revamp of the Oasis Leisure Centre says work is well under way on the £65m project, with the masterplan reaching the end of its crucial first stage.
Moirai Capital Investments, which took over the centre in June, signed a deal with Swindon Council earlier this year to refurbish the old centre and later provide other leisure facilities on an adjoining site, including an hotel, arena and indoor ski slope.
A spokesman for the specialist property developer said fortnightly meetings were taking place in London with architects and consultants over the masterplan, which sets out how the different facilities would fit on the site, and Moirai was close to signing off the first part of this process.
Spokesman Peter Holmes said: “It’s an important stage because what it means is that is actually feasible in terms of putting it on the actual site.
“And people have been working away, struggling with this, since towards the end of May, with a meeting every fortnight.
“So you may think things have gone quiet but it doesn’t mean there’s not any activity, there has been a lot of activity.
“It’s the first stage of the masterplanning.
“After that it then gets into more detailed discussions in terms of the final detailed way of accessing the site, any implications for offshoots.
“This involves from the motorway to coping with increased traffic – and final determination of ground conditions.”
Moirai has also revealed there have been fortnightly meetings in Swindon as part of the first phase, and that general painting, tidying up and improvements to the grounds have already begun.
Mr Holmes said specifications had been agreed on the improvements to the dry and wet changing areas, the toilet facilities and the reception area. This will be altered so customers no longer have to queue outside in the rain. This work is expected to start before Christmas.
He said a tender would also soon go out for the re-glazing of the iconic dome roof, with work expected to take place at the start of the new year.
“We are talking with three or four companies that are looking at ideas of doing this with the least disruption,” he said.
“It would be essentially to make sure that swimming isn’t closed for any longer than absolutely necessary, and maybe it could be done in phases.”
The spokesman said the firm was still in discussions with Barr Construction, the owner of the London Olympic basketball stadium, to secure the iconic structure for the Oasis development.
However he said plans were being worked up as to how it could be fitted out internally to create a 6,000 to 7,000-seater multi-use arena, plus a sports hall.
Moirai expects to make some big announcements about the project by the end of October and also release an initial 3D artist’s impression.