The complex job of replacing the beams at the Westland Recreation Centre pool in Greymouth is continuing and we’d like to update our community on what is actually involved and the estimated timeframe for completion.
It is important to remember that this is the first time in New Zealand these works have been carried out while leaving the roof intact, therefore it has always been hard to put a realistic timeframe on how long they are going to take. Removing the roof to replace the beams would have added hundreds of thousands dollars to the overall cost.
As with any major construction job, challenges have been identified along the way and solutions have had to be found. However we can assure everyone that Council and the hard working contractors are doing everything they can to get the job completed and the pool reopened to the public.
The project has involved firstly moving 620kg worth of beams, 30 beams in total, into the Westland Recreation Centre, protecting the pool base and then propping the existing beams up, two beams at a time with eight props per beam. These props are used to hoist the new beams into place ready for installation and to create a positive camber (ie a curve) in the existing beams, which adds extra structural support. Sections of the existing beams will then be cut out to reduce weight and the new 840mm deep beams installed and carefully connected alongside the existing 600mm deep beams. All of the 11.6m long beams have to be moved around the props and into the pool base by hand.
A peer review of the original design has identified the need for additional connections and fixings and it was also discovered the existing purlin/beam connections were faulty. Both of these issues have added a substantial amount of work to the programme to rectify the structure. Contractors had to construct a special platform designed by the engineers to the job, however this has since proved too slow to move from beam to beam so scaffolding has now been erected which will speed up work and ensure the work can be done safely at height. These variations to the contract have caused substantial delays to date but are now resolved and it means there is now a proven hoisting method in place, which will improve production.
All railings, glass, shelving and other furniture have been stripped from the pool environment to allow for the beam replacement work to be done. Repairs to the flooring and pool lining will also be undertaken during the project.
Once the construction works are completed, reinstatement works will need to be carried out to reinstall the railings, glass, shelving and other furniture and fittings. Council will also need to carry out electrical works, as well as re-fill the pool and bring the water to the required temperature.
As we’ve stated, this is the first time these type of works have been carried out in New Zealand, in this manner. It is our best guess that the pool will be reopening sometime in March 2018, however it is entirely possible that other challenges may arise which could affect the reopening timeline.
We are very aware that this closure to carry out the works is an inconvenience to some people but hope people now have a better understanding of the enormous scale and complexity of the work involved. We are looking forward to having the pool operational again once the beam replacement works are completed.
In the meantime, please remember that the stadium and gym are still open.
Updates will be available on the Westland Recreation Centre Facebook page and Council website as the project progresses.
Date of notice: 7 November 2017