The long saga surrounding Portlaoise Leisure Centre appears to be almost at an end.
Two weeks ago, Councillors in the Portlaoise area fumed after their requests for a reopening date could not be answered.
The issue came before the September County Council meeting on Monday – and finally some clarity was provided.
The facility was closed last summer due to a combination of Covid restrictions and the cost of keeping it open.
However, Laois County Council gave a commitment that it would not go into private ownership and instead would be operated alongside the facility in Portarlington.
And now, it has been confirmed that the centre will open its doors once again by mid November.
Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald had tabled a motion on the issue but it was actually raised first by Chief Executive John Mulholland in his report.
A licence to manage both Portarlington and Portlaoise Leisure Centres had been allocated to a newly formed not-for-profit company – Portarlington Leisure Centre Company Limited.
Seán Quirke, who currently manages Portarlington Leisure Centre, will now be in charge of both.
Mr Mulholland said an engineer will bring about a number of refurbishment and improvement works costing around €300,000.
Welcoming the news, Catherine Fitzgerald said she still felt there was a ‘lack of urgency’ about the project.
She said: “While this is of course good news that the centre will finally reopen, this whole process has been very frustrating.
“The Centre has been closed for a year and a half now and I feel there has been a lack of urgency about getting it back open.
“Nevertheless, the reopening of Portlaoise Leisure Centre will come as a relief to many.”