Update on PEAK swimming pools work

Stirling Council Media Release

Update on PEAK swimming pools work

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 
Work to repair the main PEAK swimming pool remains on track following the discovery of a problem with the base screed layer in November 2018.
Active Stirling and Stirling Council announced the temporary closure of the pool last year to allow works to be carried out and the project remains on schedule to be completed by the end of March, 2019.
During investigations into the main pool, an issue has also been identified with the training pool which requires urgent repairs.
Examination of this pool presented a greater technical challenge due to its movable floor, and a specialist diving company were brought in to allow an assessment to be made after concerns were raised.
We are in dialogue with the contractor to establish the exact nature of the problem and the confirmed length of this additional work. We remain hopeful of opening both pools on schedule. 
The alternative arrangements for public swimming at the PEAK have been well received by customers and the public, and we would like to thank them again for their patience during this period of unforeseen disruption.
Andrew Bain, Chief Executive at Active Stirling, said “We are continuing to work with Stirling Council and the contractor to resolve the issues on The PEAK pool as quickly and as safely as possible so that we can reopen within the next couple of months as planned.
“We would like to thank all our partners in the meantime for helping us secure access to alternative facilities and options to swim across Stirling and Falkirk so that we could continue where possible to provide as many opportunities for our customers to still take part in public swimming, our learn to swim programme and aquacise classes.”
Councillor Chris Kane, Convenor of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, which oversees Sport and Physical Activity, as well as the partnership with Active Stirling, said: “It’s important we continue to provide regular updates on the progress of the works to key stakeholders and, while the news on the training pool is disappointing, I am hopeful that we remain on schedule for re-opening both pools.”
“I am pleased so many PEAK users have been able to continue swimming during the works, and I would like to thank them for their stoic attitude and their patience; it is appreciated by everybody, especially Stirling Council and Active Stirling staff, who are working tirelessly to get the pools open as soon as possible.”
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Why has it taken longer to identify the problems at the training pool compared to the main pool? 
Problems with the screed base layers of the main pool at the PEAK were discovered during planned repair and cleaning works in November (w/c Nov 12). That prompted an investigation into the training pool to see if there were similar issues. Due to the moving floor in the training pool, any defects weren’t immediately visible, requiring the drainage of the pool for a full assessment. A specialist diving company was brought in so that divers could prop up the movable floor once it had been fully raised, allowing it to be drained from underneath. By following this strict process, the earliest moment defects could be identified was last week (w/c Jan 14).  An inspection of the drained pool on Jan. 23 has provided more accurate information on the issue in the pool.
What happens now? 
Now that the pool has been fully drained, we will assess the damage, determine the problem and continue active dialogue with the contractor, with the aim of starting repairs at the quickest possible date.  Work will take place over the next few days to finalise the remedial plans for the training pool, with the aim of starting preparation work in the pool area next week
How long will it take to make the repairs and open the pool again?
Repairs on the main pool are still on schedule to be completed by the end of March and, while there are complex operational issues with the movable floor in the training pool, we are still hopeful of opening both pools on schedule. We will continue to provide updates on this. 
What level of uptake has there been for the alternative arrangements?
The alternative arrangements for public swimming have been well received by PEAK customers, with 81 per cent of current users on the Learn to Swim programme reprovisioned at other facilities. Since the swim options timetable went live on December 17, 350 people have taken part in public swimming sessions at Stirling High and Bannockburn High School, while 220 have participated in aquacise classes at Stirling University.  Elsewhere, almost 140 PEAK All In members and Learn To Swim customers have accessed public swimming at the Mariner Centre and Grangemouth Sports Complex. 
How much will this extra work on the training pool cost?
At the moment, for commercial reasons, we are unable to reveal the figures for carrying out the works at the PEAK. However, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to minimise costs to taxpayers. 
Where can I find further information?
The alternative arrangements for PEAK customers can be found via a downloadable PDF or at the PEAK website. Active Stirling and Stirling Council will continue to provide important updates on the works to the public via their website and social media channels.