Work to start of €7 Finn Valley Swimming Pool

The dream of such a facility in the area goes back over 35 years when a group of enthusiastic locals initiated the idea and organised a house to house collection for the venture.

 Sadly their efforts were somewhat sidelined through lack of will from the powers that be at the time, bureaucracy, red tape and the incoming 1980s recession.

 Now however the waiting is lover and the dream a reality and its all system go at the Millbrae site at the Finn Valley Athletic Club grounds. This coming week will see preparatory work at the site with road realignment at the nearby Railway Road and a new car park for the centre starting the following week to make space for the new E7 million complex.

 The company in charge of the development, BAM, have a wide and experienced portfolio of work which lately included their expertise at the Olympic Stadium in London. The architects, Atkins Global, Dublin are also a highly renowned firm who have worked on top end fo the market projects right throughout Ireland, The directors who have delivered the development to this stage are a combination of Donegal Co. Council and Finn Valley Athletic Club personnel who through numerous meetings have finally been able to bring it to the stage next week where the start of work on the Finn Valley Leisure Centre, will see the end of a 35 year wait for the facility for the Twin Towns and surrounding areas. 
The project has enjoyed great co-operation between the executive of Donegal Co. Council, the councillors from the Stranorlar Electoral Area and the Finn Valley Athletic Club itself.

 The realisation of the dream has its roots in two developments in recent years, Finn Valley’s decision to become involved in the project and the influence wielded by former Minister for Tourism Dr. James McDaid and Irish Sports Council and Finn Valley supremo Patsy McGonagle to lever funding and commitments. Dr McDaid granted in excess of E3 million at the time and recently the shortfall was made up through Donegal Co. Council and local finance.

 The new facility will incorporate a 25 m swimming pool, children’s pool, normal ancillary facilities, a cryotherapy pool, a new fitness suite, changing rooms indoor and outdoor, a viewing gallery, an extensive aerobics which will all be incorporated into the existing Finn Valley Centre.

 The Centre itself has already a fine number of facilities and recently added the Berlin Blue tartan running track and rugby field while another playing field in being developed in conjunction with the new project which will mean the entire facility will be a major state-of-the-art regional sports centre.

 This will undoubtedly also be earmarked for educational opportunities as an educational outreach centre for primary, secondary and third levels. It’s worth noting the proposed new primary school for Stranorlar has been earmarked for construction right across the road so this should again enhance the development.

 Ultimately the new Finn Valley Leisure Centre will be seen as a triumph for the community working together to secure badly needed facilities for the area.

 Major work will start on site on Tuesday week, January 24 and it is expected the sod cutting and formal contract signing will take place shortly after.

 Is is understood the new leisure centre will be open in approximately 18 months time. 

 By Connie Duffy,Editor, Donegal on Sunday.

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