BOROUGH council chiefs are looking into replacing the EPIC leisure centre with a new multi-million-pound facility.
They want to move out of the McGarva Way building, which is in a state of disrepair, and create a new centre at another site in Ellesmere Port town centre at a cost of between £16m and £22m.
The council has allocated £100,000 from its capital reserves budget for 2007/08 to pay for a study by consultants.
They will look at alternative sites, determine the right mix and size of facilities based on community need and best value, provide outline designs and costings, and take into account budget implications.
However, the council’s community committee acknowledges the project, which still needs the approval of the full council, would take a long time.
It is not known what might happen to the present site.
In the interim it has allocated £250,000 from capital reserves to carry out essential repairs in 2008/09 and appoint consultants to oversee this work.
The EPIC’s swimming pool was built in 1969 and the other sporting and leisure facilities were created when the building was expanded in 1983.
However, a council report says: “The swimming pool has received no significant investment since it’s opening and the pool hall, pool plant and changing accommodation are in need of urgent refurbishment.
“The changing room accommodation has never been upgraded. It still has the original tiled floors, walls and cubicles – all in poor condition - and does not currently cater adequately for all sections of the community.
“The pool was closed during 2007 for three months after leaks from the roof caused significant damage to the ceiling.
“The pool is currently operating with a safety net suspended beneath the ceiling across the whole pool as a precaution against falling ceiling panels.”
Elsewhere in the centre, the roof needs re-felting and also replacing over the sports centre, kitchen, cafe and fitness centre, windows and gas-fired boilers need to be replaced, and the emergency lighting must be upgraded.