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Lucan Pool Progress Update July/August 2024

Lots in previous updates, eg April-June: https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/lucan-pool-progress-april-may-2024 Video of all previous related questions and motions tabled jump to this link here on page.


This update Saturday 13th July - Outstanding works dependent on sequencing of jobs


Full written report below introductory video provided on 12th July. There's a lot more done than at last February's visit, but progress was slower than anticipated due to a number of factors, which are deemed too "commercially sensitive" to divulge publicly, as well as normal information not available while a contract is live. NB - Sewer works will close road adjacent to pool next week see here: https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/closure-of-road-near-lucan-pool-esker-manor-ash-park-july-15-19-2024



Report on tour of Lucan Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre Complex, Friday 12th July


Exterior


The external wall capping is complete. The bus bay is ready to be done after the water/sewage works on the road during the week of 15-19 July.


The area between the pool and leisure centre is still not laid out and while the car park area is taking shape, this won't be fully completed until all the machinery is out. Access is still not permitted on health and safety grounds.


Refurbished Leisure Centre building


The original leisure centre hall is now emptied of equipment. It was previously insulated. The old basketball court floor is substantially intact but there will be work done to replace some missing sections and "dead zones". The walls were previously insulated earlier in the year and electrical works and air handling systems are largely in situ.


The Council and contractor are working with Tusla in terms of getting the final approvals on the Naíonra. As outlined in the video update, this should be ready to open for the autumn term and temporary access will be provided from the footpath in the park near the skate park. This will ensure that works can continue elsewhere.


The upstairs area (old gym) allocated to Esker Boxing club is substantially complete and should be ready for fitting out in due course.


New swimming pool building


The entrance canopy steels are now installed. The reception area is now identifiable as such.


There are several rooms almost fully completed, including several multi-use fitness/dance rooms/spin studio, the main gym area and all the access halls. The sprung wood flooring has been installed but the skirting boards will not be put in until all electrical and other works are completed.




Approximately 80% of the changing area is now finished to specifications, but some works remain to be done. The lockers are all ready and are made of a composite material. but still have some work to go in terms of rails etc.



The "changing village" is communal. When I queried this the contractor said that the showers were designed for a "rinse down" in swimming or gym gear and a drying off in private cubicles. SDCC said that this was the way other facilities operated and is flexible to suit a variety of individual and family needs.




Final ducting and air handling is complete for most rooms. However some rooms need additional work and most floors are covered to protect them in the meantime. Several areas have had an upgrade since the last visit. A number of rooms originally not earmarked for air handling were identified as benefitting from these systems and so additional equipment has been installed. There are also radiant heat panels in the ceilings of rooms for use if required.



The main pool areas are done but not the decks. Final grouting will be completed by next week. I was asked before whether the main pool has a descending slope for people who are unsteady on their feet to enter gradually. Having checked again, it doesn't, but the steps appear fairly navigable.



The diving pool with the moveable floor has steps that rise in line with the water level. The pool also has a number of harnesses as I mentioned following the February visit. See link here for that report which has some more relevant details.



There are three gas boilers available to heat the pool. SDCC says it was "not financially viable" to use other options. Only two will operate at any given time and usually just one will be needed. These will be rotated so as to keep them all running smoothly.


The café area now looks as if it will open alongside the pool and management company Aura Leisure has already tendered for operators with a number of expressions of interest received. There will be access to this area from the side as well as from the main entrance. This will allow park users to visit the café without having to use the pool or gym facilities. There is a kitchen area alongside this which will be fitted out when the service provider moves in


Toilets will be publicly accessible and include one full size wheelchair accessible toilet, as well as another smaller toilet area that will be reserved for persons with disabilities. There will also be access to a changing area for persons with disabilities. This will be within the main changing area but will be suitable for all needs and not require anyone to be using the pool or gym area to gain access via the turnstile.


The big picture regarding delays


I again asked a lot of questions about the reasons for the latest and previous delays. The head architect confirmed that once the project is finished everything will be out in the public domain and there will be a "full post project review".


I had previously alluded to the factors contributing to the delay that are in the public domain, eg the Council making a mess of the original tender and having to retender, Covid restrictions, Brexit and related issue with materials supply and obtaining subcontractors, followed by additional cost and supply issues following the war in Ukraine. There are also other factors that have led to things not going smoothly, sensitive aspects that cannot be discussed right now in the public domain as they could well delay the project further.


I had mentioned previously that while the project started at a €12.5 million price tag at tender award stage, it would cost in excess of €20 million now. People have raised issues about why SDCC didn't find ways to exit the contract, or to impose penalties or take court action for delays etc. Whether or not some of these suggestions are or were relevant at any stage, there is nothing in recent times that would have made the project go any faster and if anything would delay the pool further still.


I am satisfied as of now that the Council is monitoring the works on this project extremely closely. My suspicions are that it was not putting the same resources into monitoring at earlier stages, but I can't prove this. However there's no information that can be provided while the contract is live and we will have to wait for the review.


The current date for completion is mid-October, with two weeks to check over after this and then hand the complex to Aura Leisure. Aura had previously stated it would take two months to install systems, train staff and get other things ready, so this means we are looking at January 2025 earliest. This is dependent on the sequencing of subcontract works going smoothly as some things can't be done before others and if there are any delays to one part of the project it will have a knock-on effect on everything else. This has happened before and could happen again so the latest date cannot be said to be watertight, no more than previous deadlines and subsequent delays.


All I know is that the main contractor remains "committed to completing the project" and I will keep querying and pushing at every opportunity I get.  I remember boycotting the sod turning for the pool in May 2019 because Helen and Sandra from the Pool4Lucan campaign hadn't been invited. We were told they would be invited to the official opening which at the time we all presumed would be 2020/21. Now we are definitely looking at 2025.


More photos and videos of pool and changing areas

























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Previous update 11th July - Swimming Pool sub-contractor delays


It should have been completed by now, but there appears to be a delay with certain works, which need to be finished before other subcontractors can come in. The Chief Executive would not give too much information publicly when I queried the status of works on 8th July last at the full Council meeting. Instead Councillors are due to get another tour of the works at the pool complex on Friday 12th July.


I will update further after this meeting but it looks like the pool will drag on for months. Total farce upon farce.


Nobody will comment on a live contract on the record. I am waiting for the day there can be full accountability for this total mess. I've raised this issue more than anyone else ever (as per video below) but it's hard to get any tangible information on when things went wrong.



Some of it relates to poor national rules regarding tendering, some of it relates to the contractor, some of it relates to unavoidable issues and some of it relates to bad management by SDCC. But how much where is the question.


ENDS

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Thanks for that Paul, god I’ll be 67 in sept will I ever swim in it. Rose Murray

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