According to a River poll, 79 per cent of students are excited about the new Kingfisher Leisure Centre following the release of its latest proposals.
The announcement, made on November 16, detailed new facilities which were not seen in the old leisure centre, including squash courts, and a rooftop five-a-side football pitch.
“The proposed rooftop pitch sounds cool, as long as there are nets around the pitch to catch stray shots,” said Teo Ayodeji-Ansell, Social Media Secretary for Kingston University FC. “Hopefully it’ll be a facility that KU teams will be able to use for sports and exercise and such.”
Students have been without a local leisure centre for almost two years, due to the sudden closure of the original centre in December 2019, when Kingston Council said concerns were raised about the structural integrity of the roof.
Despite a petition to save the old centre, which 21 per cent of students said they preferred, the Council officially allowed the bulldozing of it in September this year, promising a new centre by 2024.
In a survey carried out by The River on social media, 91 per cent of students agreed that this five-year gap between the closure of one centre and the opening of another was far too large. On the other hand, 9 per cent believed the new centre would be worth the wait.
“The visualisation looks very utopian, the artists did a good job,” said Ayodeji-Ansell.
Other facilities set to be included in the new Kingfisher are a 25-metre pool designed specifically for short course competitive swimming, a rooftop yoga space, a climbing wall and a six-court sports hall for basketball, netball and badminton.
“We want this to be an outstanding place with the very best in sporting equipment and facilities,” said Kingston Council’s Transform Kingston in a statement. “Whether you’re a future Olympic swimmer or just trying to keep fit, this will be a great place to come and be active.”
Kingston residents now have the chance to comment on the latest proposals on the Transform Kingston website.