Page last updated at 28 April 2016 at 13:33
A £3.1 million project to transform a community facility at the centre of a popular green space in Eastleigh steps up a gear as 2016 gets under way.
A tower crane has arrived on site at the Lakeside Country Park and has lifted the roof on to the new, state-of-the art main building - currently being redeveloped by Eastleigh Borough Council - that will act as a base for users of the park and its lakes.
Designed by R H Partnership Architects (RHP), the Lakeside Centre consists of two buildings – the main centre and a storage building – each with a distinctive and complementary curved design, reflected in the logo for the new facility.
The new Lakeside Centre main building will include improved changing rooms and disabled facilities, a multi-purpose training and conference suite that can accommodate up to 60 people, rentable office space and a permanent home for some of the Borough Council's Countryside staff.
The supporting building will include eight storage rooms of varying sizes for hire, a vehicle store public toilets and a workshop for Countryside officers.
The buildings are designed to be extremely energy- and water-efficient, using ground-source heat, solar power and featuring a green roof. The scheme incorporates the traditional skill of rough-stone walling that will be used in the build.
Main contractor, the Construction Partnership – who are based in the Borough of Eastleigh at Hamble-le-Rice - marked an important landmark in the scheme this week as the roof was craned onto the main building and work can begin on fitting out the interior, once the building is watertight.
Since work started last summer to demolish the old buildings and start work on the new facility, the council has provided purpose-built temporary accommodation to ensure that current users of the site – who include uniformed groups, canoeists, model boating enthusiasts, and triathletes – can continue to use the facility.
Created on restored gravel works, Lakeside Country Park is 22 hectares of lakes, wet meadow and woodland situated along Wide Lane between Eastleigh and Southampton. Offering walks, picnic sites and guided trails, the park provides habitat to a diverse array of wildlife - including deer, foxes and species of bat - and is popular with local anglers. It is also home to the Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway.
Chair of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee, Councillor Paul Bicknell, said: “It is great to see this much-anticipated facility really taking shape as the focal point for Lakeside Country Park, and it will be exciting for everyone as we see future milestones in its development and the building coming to life. I know that local groups are excited at the prospect of using this superb community facility which represents a significant investment for the Borough Council and underpins our commitment to promoting sustainability and the health of our communities.”
The new Lakeside Centre is currently programmed to open at the end of the summer.
Image courtesy of R H Partnership Architects.