RSL pool on track to reopen in April
WITH a massive crane working on Dubbo RSL’S heated indoor pool, local excitement ramped up that this important community facility could soon be back in operation.
Dubbo Photo News took a tour of the construction site this week with Dubbo RSL Club general manager Gus Lico, checking out a veritable forest of scaffolding covering the worksite.
The pool’s been out of operation for almost 12 months, when the roof was deemed to be unsafe, but Mr Lico said these sorts of jobs cannot be rushed.
“The job has been very complex and (there’s been) an intricate process to go along with it, so we’ve had a lot of consultants on board, structural engineers, architects designing all the work,” Mr Lico said, emphasising how important it is not only to get it right, but to ensure safety for patrons.
“It’s very important to do it properly, the old adage of a lot of pain for a lot of gain probably rings a bell,” Mr Lico said.
“We had to tick a lot of processes off for it to work. It may have taken a little bit longer than what we all wanted but I think the end result will be beneficial for all the members and guests.
“We closed down in about February 2018 and hopefully it’ll become operational again in the last week of April,” he said, noting that the timing will be perfect for a heated pool opening coming into the cooler months.
Construction company Whitcon’s site manager Dale Churchward said the pool has been transformed with the huge mass of scaffolding necessary just to get the job done safely.
“There’s literally just under 70 tonne of scaffold inside the pool area and there’s about another 12 tonne on the exterior, and that had to go up to take the windows out on the northern elevation,” Mr Churchward said.
“The scaffold itself is actually a fall protection so that the workers can’t actually fall more than one point five metres under Workcover regulations, and that scaffolding is constantly being readjusted as the demolition is taking place, and also it’s going to be adjusted again when the installation of the new steelwork goes in.”
He pointed out how such a complex project right in the centre of the city can take longer, compared to an easy-access site. There’s also the added difficulty of the club and gym area having to be open to members and the public right throughout the build.
“We had to pull out the failed timber trusses, we had to cut them up to lift them out into the carpark, and cut them up again to get them into a truck to get rid of them. There’s roughly about 35-48 tonne of steel going back in their place and that’s not including the roof sheeting,” Mr Churchward said.
“I don’t think you’ll see this sort of scaffolding in Dubbo again, this is very unusual. I’d see it in Sydney but I wouldn’t expect to see it in Dubbo.
“It’s a very complex project and access is very restricted. You’re looking at all these bits and pieces, it’s all been carried in by hand from the carpark in through one single door and then set up, but I’ve got to give credit to the scaffolders, Dubbo Scaffolding – they’re a local crowd and they’ve done extremely well,” he said.
Other trades from town have also put in plenty of work on the pool project, with specialised propping requested by the local engineers – just one of those props took 10 blokes a couple of hours to put up.
Gus Lico said the club will always support local jobs where feasible.
“Even with the normal renovations we do we try to use local trades where we can. Obviously there’s some expertise in some jobs we have to bring in to Dubbo,” Mr Lico said.
The total cost hasn’t yet come in.
“Final figures aren’t in yet and there’s a lot of add-ons. Depending on the length of time with the scaffolding, because it’s a daily charge, it’s hard to estimate (the total cost), but if I had to put a figure on it I would think it’d be around $1.5 and $2 million, taking trading disruption into account,” he said.
Whitcon site manager Dale Churchward and Dubbo RSL Club general manager Gus Lico, with the masses of scaffolding installed at the indoor pool site where roof repairs are underway. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS