Last month, as Chair of the Dublin Central Area Committee, I sought a detailed update on the need for major refurbishment works to be carried out on the Sean McDermott Street swimming pool. In seeking that report, I also indicated that from the March meeting onwards, a monthly update would be included on the agenda of the Area Committee, in an effort to ensure the project gets the priority status it requires.
Sean McDermott Street swimming pool was built in the 1970’s. The building is a concrete construction with flat roofs. The pool hall is constructed from a concrete frame with a steel trussed roof (a replacement roof, following a fire in the 1980’s). Works were carried out to improve disabled access and replace some swimming pool plant in 2014; some basic roof repairs were also completed at that time. Changing rooms, showers, toilets etc. were extensively refurbished in 2017 / 208 with the support of funding under the NEIC Initiative.
Since 2009, I have worked with my party colleague, Minister Paschal Donohoe to not only retain but also support this essential community resource through both City Council and Government funding. As a result, the decision was taken this time to undertake a comprehensive programme of upgrade works to the roof and pool area in order to provide a fit for purpose facility and prolong the life of the pool as a community resource for the next 15 years. This decision was precipitated by ongoing issues with roof leaks and an issue with regular rising and broken tiles in the pool basin due to structural issues with the concrete beneath. These ongoing issues presented health and safety challenges that led to the decision to close the pool in February 2020.
COUNCIL’S EFFORTS SINCE FEBRUARY 2020:
Since the closure of the pool, Dublin City Council has actively pursued the appointment of an integrated design team, in compliance with procurement rules, to carry out significant investigations, surveys, opening up works etc. leading to the development of a works tender package and ultimately the capital works themselves which will be the subject of a separate tender process. The timeline of the design stage works coincided with the pandemic and progress was adversely affected by public health restrictions on building works.
SELECTION OF DESIGN TEAM:
An engineering led integrated design team was appointed following a procurement process and this work has been ongoing for some time. The initial investigations included topographical surveys, asbestos surveys, opening up works to the pool area and the roof structure (including the acoustic roof), examination of the existing services, power, heating, ventilation etc.
Based on the findings of these investigations the initial scope of works are in summary:
- Re-tile the pool hall, deck and basin
- Recover the existing roof (it was repaired in 2014, but has reached the end of its life)
- Repair the roof structural deck at the point of a leak and repaint the roof trusses. This element of the works will need to be completed in advance of the retiling of the pool and deck as a full scaffold will need to be placed in the pool to gain access to the roof.
As the investigative work was undertaken, the City Council has also been examining at how, in addition to better service delivery, the performance of the building regards energy efficient and customer comfort can be delivered. Design options relating to the upgrade of the energy efficiency system, ventilation measures and quality electrical fittings are expected shortly.
The design team is currently working on next steps, drawings, specifications etc. to progress to tender stage for appointment of a civil contractor to undertake the construction work. The construction tender process will take approx. 4 months following which a contractor will be appointed in the Autumn and it is estimated that works will take approx. 6 months to complete. The anticipated programme for this is:
- Opening up works, surveys etc. completed Q1 2022
- Issue construction tender package Q2 2022
- Appointment of civil contractor Q3 2022
- Construction works to begin in Q4 2022
- Works completed Q1 2023
Across the coming months, I will continue to use my position as Chair of the Dublin Central Area Committee as prioritize the redevelopment and upgrade of the Sean McDermott Street Swimming Pool. If you have any specific questions or queries arising from the details outlined above, please get in touch with me at RayMcAdam@gmail.com.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee