RSL pool on track to re­open in April

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By JOHN RYAN

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

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