merrick leisure centre

Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council held a limited design competition in 1994 for a concept for a multi leisure facility in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, to be based at the Douglas Ewart High School. The winning design was intended to generate funding to allow the project to proceed.

Crallan & Winstanley Architects were appointed, as winners of the competition, to undertake the first phase of the project, which was completed in 1996. This comprised a two storey tubular steel structure with lightweight trusses on circular columns supporting a curved profiled aluminium roof, slotted between the existing Games Hall and Pool to provide new changing facilities.

In 2000, Sportscotland awarded a maximum lottery grant to enable phase II of the project to be undertaken which started on site in 2002. This phase extended the facilities to include a Fitness Suite and multi use area on the first floor including viewing of the pool, completing Phase I. Extensive new dry changing & external sport changing facilities have been added, together with a Spa & Sauna, and the existing pool and Games Hall have been upgraded. The existing buildings have been overclad and re-glazed; the Games Hall using Okalux anti-glare double glazing. Internally the Games Hall has been transformed with a new sprung floor and suspended ceiling, which reflects both natural and artificial light.

The building exploits glazing within and on the external skin to bring light and sunshine into the heart of the interior and to provide visual linking between the parts of the building and the outside. The transparency of the glazed screening internally creates reflecting light and images as well as providing the visual link. Terracotta blocks, contrasting with Sto render have been used to overclad the existing games hall and pool enclosures and form the new walling to the extensions.

The Leisure Centre is a combined community and education facility which provides a range of leisure and sport activities available to this area of Dumfries and Galloway. The building is a focus to attract people to Newton Stewart .