In November 2016 a proposal was put forward to the membership regarding moving the gym onto the roof of the sports hall. As many of you will be aware the Management Committee made a decision not to proceed with this plan in Dec 2016.
Without opening old wounds the feedback at the time was instrumental in the club putting together the first major survey of the membership. Thus, in September of last year a survey was carried out both online and via a paper response to try and gauge how members felt about many aspects of the club. The survey, available to complete by all adult members, gathered a response from 749 members, which was around 38% of the adult membership. The most commonly selected priorities for future developments were upgrading and increasing the size of the gym (there were many other comments about improving the facility)
Following this survey, we approached 4 major gym equipment suppliers and asked them to provide details of how they could improve our current gym provision. They were given two basic briefs:
- Using existing gym and balcony areas what would they propose?
- If the exercise room was available to use as additional space for the gym what would they propose?
Using the information supplied by the suppliers we then held consultations with members in October 2017 where we displayed both options as described above. The events were very much an opportunity for members to give us feedback on what they felt about the information displayed. The major feedback points to come out of this were:
- Most people agreed that moving the gym into the exercise room and changing the billiard room into a mind and body studio for classes, was, on paper, the best option.
- Many comments were also made, however, that areas such as the gym changing rooms were no longer fit for purpose and shouldn’t consideration be given to improving them as well? (in the survey less than 50% of respondents were satisfied with this area.
- People attending also reiterated that there were other areas of the club which required attention and the club should have a better approach in terms of a strategy for improvement and in planning to conserve historical elements of the building and take a less utilitarian approach to developments.
This feedback was taken on board and laid the foundations of discussions with ZM Architecture, who had already put significant time into developing a conservation strategy for the club. They were tasked with looking at how best to take the feedback forward into meaningful proposals.
At the same time a sub group was formed by baths members to look at how the facility could be improved in terms of access and use by less able-bodied users. This group is made up of volunteers who have happily given up their time to help us understand the difficulties which they, or people they know, encounter when using the facility and identify areas of improvement. For example, an improvement identified almost immediately was to replace a table and chairs in the bar with a set which could be used by people who need to use support to stand up, the tables in the bar all had one central support which means they are likely to wobble/topple if leant on. The chairs have no arm rests and thus again offer no support to those requiring it. Appropriate replacements were identified and put in place quickly and have been well received.
Thus, over the last few months the management committee, the access group, architects and various experts have worked together to bring us to this point where we are able to bring these proposals to the members.
What follows on this page are PDF’s of the plans which will be displayed in the club in A1 boards over the next few weeks. Please take the time to read the PDF’s in the order presented particularly the first pdf which explains the strategic approach and gives a context to the other pdf’s. The physical boards are easier to read so please take the time to look at these when you are in the club.