Nenagh families will be able to enjoy more than just a walk in the park when the town’s new four-acre facility opens in the coming weeks.
The park, which was campaigned for by former Nenagh town councillor Lalor McGee, is just one part of a major redevelopment of Nenagh Leisure Centre that has been ongoing for the past 12 months.
With contractors PJ McLoughlin puting the finishing touches to it, the Tipperary Star was gven a sneak preview of what awaits when it opens, and as Rosemary Joyce of Tipperary County Council said: “It will be a great asset to the town”.
With ample car parking and a new walkway bridge over the Nenagh River, the park is an oasis of peace, with fantasic views back across towards Nenagh Castle and the town.
It has 1km of walkways, guiding users around the various parts from the central water feature that utilises rainwater run-off from the leisure centre building, to the seven outdoor gym stations that can be used by all ages and which offer a variety of excercises. There is also a zipline and a slide for the more adventurous, along with a skateboard park.
The park is dotted with oak seating, carved from trees that were knocked in Ballyporeen during last winter’s storms - an early indication of North and South Tipp coming together! Also dotted around are oak picnic tables. My bet is the bench at the farthest end of the park will be the most used. With the river fronting a pastoral scene that landscape artists would die for, it is calmness personified. A place where you can chew the cud with the cows grazing in the field opposite. Just under 200 trees have been planted in the park and when mature will give a leafy, rural atmosphere depsite the closeness to town.
Children will have a ball in the fenced-off one-acre playground which has an array of facilities, and even the youngest of knees wil be spared too many grazes on the sand covered ground. There is a special grid outside the play area to keep dogs out. But as leisure centre manager Tom Mackey explained, no dogs will be allowed in the park anyway, except for guide dogs.
“A lot of praise must go to Lalor McGee and former Nenagh mayor Cllr Jimmy Moran for funding some of the park’s equipment though their mayoral funds. The Alzheimer’s Society is planting an aspen tree, their symbol and Siptu helped, too,” said Ms Joyce.
The park itself is being funded through a E400,000 Sports Capital Grant; E770,000 from Nenagh Town Council funding and the balance is being made up of development levies.
Nenagh Leisure Centre last had a major facelift in 1991, and had become somewhat dated. However, the revamped facility will be up there among the best, with a new entrance to the side, upgraded gym and aerobic studios complete with TV screens and sound systems, new changing areas, including family and disabled changing areas, and showers, and, for those who just want to sit and gossip, a Jacuzzi. The entire facility will be disabled accessible.
The staff have been trained up to give all types of fitness classes in a gym that is twice the size it was, and the rooms will be available to community groups.
While no opening date has yet been fixed, the pool has been refilled and is nearly up to the correct temperature.
“It will be state-of-the-art, and there will be no increase in admittance charges for the moment,” said Mr Mackey.