THE soon to be completed Braywick Leisure Centre will be further delayed due to Covid-19.

It was anticipated the centre’s handover would be on September 14 – but councillors were told it will be pushed back to September 22 mainly because of the coronavirus delaying the delivery of materials.

At a Royal Borough communities overview and scrutiny panel on July 23 (Thursday), Graham Clarkson – chairman of the project management company Clarkson Alliance – told councillors despite the pandemic delaying deliveries and reducing the number of on-site workers, the project is making ‘good progress’ with most of the installations and works completed or nearing completion.

At the last meeting in June, Mr Clarkson said the pool wasn’t yet filled due to the installation of a pool lift being delayed as the manufacture company was based in the Netherlands and employees from that company were unable to come to the UK due to the two-week quarantine.

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The pool lift has now been installed and the pool is currently being filled through a controlled process over a period of three weeks for it to be gradually brought to temperature to prevent a ‘thermal shock’ to the tank.

The sauna and steam room are nearing completion despite setbacks and the main multipurpose sports hall and cultural space are ‘virtually’ done where markings, high level lighting, and sound systems have been implemented.

Floor finishes have been laid within the main fitness suite, studios, and squash courts, and the landscaping of the external courts and artificial turf is in its ‘last phase’.

The new catering area is nearly completed, and reception is currently being wired up for telephone, computers, etc.

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The training of staff and trial operational run will happen on the handover date – September 22 – for staff to be familiarised of the centre.

Councillor Catherine Del Campo (Liberal Democrats: Furze Platt) asked if the leisure centre has an opening date and if that has been impacted by the coronavirus as well.

David Scott, service lead for communities, said: “No, we don’t have an opening date for definite yet. It is subject to the practical completion of the handover.

“There will be a short interval from practical completion before we’re actually able to open – but I’m hoping that’ll be the end of September/beginning of October.”

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Councillor Samantha Rayner (Conservative: Eton and Castle), lead member for leisure and Windsor, added: “We are planning on an opening – but we will do a soft opening because of Covid-19.

“We’ve got to see how things go – but we’ve got to find out when we can actually open and then we’ll do something soft as we are very anxious to show as many residents and yourself [Cllr De Campo] the leisure centre as soon as possible.”