The College Ystrad Mynach has unveiled plans to build a brand new £20m leisure and teaching centre for both students and the local community.
The state-of-the-art centre will provide a huge range of leisure and teaching facilities including a full-sized sports hall, an eight-lane 25m swimming pool, a learner pool, a gymnasium, beauty spa and café.
The upper floors of the centre at the top of the college site off Twyn Road will house teaching and learning spaces for the college, including art and photography studios.
In the centre’s atrium, an aeroplane fuselage will be suspended from the roof which will be used by air cabin crew students, and accessed from the upper floor.
It is hoped the centre will be open in time for the college’s September intake in 2013.
The development is still in its early stages and an open day is being held at the college on Wednesday, November 23, from 2pm to 7pm, when residents can look at the plans, see what facilities are being proposed and ask questions about the leisure centre.
Paul Martin, the College Deputy Principal responsible for planning and finance, said the centre would be of benefit to both students and people living nearby.
“We are looking to accommodate everyone. In the day, the pool will be open for local schools to use for their lessons and then in the evening, the majority of the sports facilities will be available for the public,” said Mr Martin.
The new modern sports facilities will replace the College’s out-of-date gymnasium.
Mr Martin added: “Our sports programmes at the college have been growing for a number of years and the facilities we have for the students are simply out of date. And we also have inadequate facilities for our art and photography students so they will all be upgraded as part of this exciting development.”
College Principal Bryn Davies said: “This new leisure centre will be a fabulous addition to the resources on offer at the College. It will not only benefit our students but also the wider community who will be able to use the state-of-the-art facilities.”
Some of the funding for the ambitious scheme will come from the College and it is hoped further contributions will be secured from the Welsh Government, in addition to grants from Europe and the Sports Lottery.
The college hopes to put in an application for planning permission to Caerphilly County Borough Council in December.
Designed by Bristol architects AWW, the proposed new leisure centre will replace the old S block which is currently used for general education studies.
While the new centre is being built, those studies will be housed in temporary accommodation and then brought in to the main college building.