DG One works ‘won’t start until autumn’

Work to repair Dumfries and Galloway Council’s flagship leisure centre will not start until autumn this year and take 18 months to complete, the local authority has revealed.

DG One in Dumfries was deemed unworthy for public last year and closed down after a number of remedial works were required to be carried out.

The council, which owns the building, is currently seeking compensation from the contractors, Kier, who claim they are not to blame for the faults in the building.

A council spokesperson said: “Since the closure of DG One on 6 October 2014, further independent expert investigations have been taking place within the building. These investigations could not have been carried out whilst customers and staff were in the building. These investigations, which included emptying the pool tanks and exposing steel reinforcement, have taken longer than expected because of the nature of what has been found. The results of these further expert investigations have shown that the nature and extent of the defects within DG One are even worse than originally thought.

“Addressing all of the remedial works required to address the defects and make DG One a flagship facility requires the council to revise its planned scheme of remedial works and to seek a contractor to carry out such revised works while complying with all relevant procurement legislation. This means that remedial works will not commence on DG One until the autumn 2015.

“It is anticipated that the remedial works will still take approximately 18 months to complete. It is still anticipated that the dryside will open 6 months after the remedial works commence, in early spring 2016.

“Kier continue to deny responsibility for the problems at DG One. Dumfries and Galloway Council are therefore continuing with their legal proceedings against Kier in an effort to ensure that the costs associated with the closure and remedial works are recovered.”

Alex Haswell, director of community and customer services, added: “Dumfries and Galloway Council very much regret having to close DG One and the disruption caused to our valued customers and to the people of Dumfries and Galloway. We had to close the building to allow further extensive, intrusive investigations into the condition of the building in order to discover all the defects. The serious nature and extent of the defects discovered beggars belief.

“Dumfries and Galloway Council has taken a lot of criticism regarding the well documented issues with DG One. The council has moved as quickly as possible given the denial of responsibility by Kier. We remain of the view that Kier are fully responsible for the defects within a building that is only 7 years old. We have the very best independent experts and legal team supporting the claim against Kier Construction Limited and we will endeavour to reclaim all associated costs.

“When Dumfries and Galloway Council entered into a contract with Kier Construction Limited, they accepted the responsibility for providing a building which had to meet certain specific standards. A number of these standards were clearly not achieved by Kier and as a result Dumfries and Galloway Council have had to address the situation by commencing legal proceedings against Kier. Legal advice to date is that these are proceeding positively.

“It is unfortunate that we are in this position however we firmly believe that the full responsibility is that of Kier Construction Limited. We have written to all of our users advising them of the current position. However, Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to providing suitable, alternative provision and we will do so by continuing to provide the facilities at Loreburn Hall and the temporary pool at Dumfries Ice Bowl.”

A spokesman for Kier Construction told Scottish Construction Now: “The investigation at DG One Leisure Centre is still ongoing and the findings from technical experts are yet to be concluded.

“It would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

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