Work has commenced a £3.3 million project to convert the historic Stirchley Baths building into a community hub for residents of South Birmingham.
Balfour Beatty’s work on the Grade II listed building, originally opened in 1911, will involve the conversion of the former local swimming pool into a multipurpose hall for sport, recreational and community activities, as well as the provision of meeting rooms, a cafe and classrooms.
The work was commissioned as a result of campaigning by the local community with the support of Birmingham City Council who secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project will see many of the original materials will be reused, preserving key historic features, including the original kiosk within the entrance area, the iconic chimney flue, balconies and tiling.
Karen Cheney, head of Selly Oak district at Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a very exciting project to convert a much loved building into a space that can once again be enjoyed by the local community. Balfour Beatty clearly understands the importance of this building to local residents and community groups and this work will ensure that future generations can enjoy the hub for years to come.”
The façade made of carved stonework and brickwork will be cleaned and restored on site along with lantern lighting and trusses which support the roof.
This will also have its covering of Cumberland slate removed and cleaned. There are also plans to reinstate previous historic features such as the distinctive cupola and clock facing onto Hazelwell Street.
Stuart Rogers, Balfour Beatty’s regional director of operations, said: “We are very proud to commence another important project for the people of Birmingham. We have worked closely with Birmingham City Council and the Stirchley Community programming group to produce a programme of works that will accommodate the intricate renovation of this much loved building whilst delivering a new community space for local residents.”
This project was awarded to Balfour Beatty as part of the Constructing West Midlands framework and will be complete in spring 2015.