Our Recent History
The Original Plan:
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide a sustainable leisure facility for the community, in August we had pre-arranged a planned swimming pool closure – to last for a fortnight. This was primarily to enable us to:
- Replace two of our 20-year-old boilers serving our heating system – with some funding from Resource Efficient Scotland – for more efficient boilers.
- Install a new heat exchanger to recover waste heat from the pool hall ventilation system – a project funded by the Keep Scotland Beautiful Climate Challenge Fund
- Remove redundant radiators from the pool end wall
- Replace ironmongery on the pool-side store doors.
In addition to the updates to the swimming pool, the closure period of two weeks provided a window of time to drain the pool and carry out further preventative maintenance works; these included:
- Repairing underwater tiling within the pool itself including the deep step tiling.
- Overhauling and re-setting the pool access handrails.
- Re-grouting tiles in the shower areas.
- Investigate and make good the timber trim around window sills.
- Inspect and make good apparent surface rusting on the steel columns within the pool hall.
What We Discovered:
While inspecting the steel columns we discovered severe and aggressive rusting that threatened the long term structural stability of the pool hall. We took immediate action to appoint an independent structural engineer and on that advice, decided to close the pool hall to allow essential repair works. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to delay access to the pool hall by any other trades.
Revising our plans:
After having accepted that the pool hall would be closed for considerably longer than planned, we took advantage of this to carry out additional improvement works:
- Refurbishing female and male toilets.
- Refurbishing toilet cubicles
- Renewing doors to first aid room, gents, ladies, accessible toilet and changing room.
What we have been doing:
Most of the last 3 months has been spent on carefully opening up the floor around four key columns within the pool hall to allow our Structural Engineer to investigate the extent of the rust problem and devise a strong practical solution. This has meant:
- Breaking open the whole floor construction around 4 steel columns down to bare earth.
- Welding new steel collars around the columns to strengthen them where attacked by rust.
- Re-coating the columns, firstly with corrosion protection and then with fire protection.
- Carefully reinstating the floor construction including concrete, damp-proofing and the underfloor heating pipework.
With the help of specialist contractors and suppliers the remedial works have now been completed and the disturbed areas of the floor reinstated. The pool hall is now safe to be re-opened and used by all, however we will be carrying out some further in-use commissioning tests of our new mechanical plant over the next few weeks.
We are pleased with the outcome that we have achieved and we have been able to reopen our swimming pool again so promptly considering the amount of work that has been involved.
Continuing our maintenance programme, we have identified that the large timber framed windows at the end of the pool hall will need to be replaced in the near future. This is perhaps a job for next year and in the meantime we will be working to secure appropriate funding and to also identify the appropriate time to do these works. We will communicate further on this in the future.
Thank you to all:
There are many people we have to thank for helping us through this difficult time. First and foremost, all our users of the pool, individuals, groups, McLaren HS staff and pupils and the local community. We really appreciate the support and understanding you have given us. We also want to express particular thanks to:
- Neil Spriddle B.Sc. (Hons.), C. Eng, M.I.C.E., M.I.Struct. E. and Colleagues of CRA (Alloa) Ltd.
- Iain Wilson and Colleagues of RTA Building and Construction Ltd., Doune.
- Sandy Kirk and Colleagues of Edwards Engineering (Perth) Ltd.
- Andrew Bain of The Peak, Stirling
- Holemasters (Scotland) Ltd.
- Alba Facilities Services Ltd.
- Aqua Leisure Ltd
- Liam Sully of MasterCraft Joinery of Callander
- David Gillespie, Tiling Contractor of Deanston
- Jon MacIsaac, JTM Plumbing of Callander
- Kenny White, Building Contractor
- Graham Robertson, Electricians
- We have also received support and encouragement from our local representatives from all political parties
Finally, on behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to thank Trish Thompson, the Centre Manager, her Management team and all the Staff here at McLaren Leisure. They have worked hard through a difficult few months and have managed to keep their commitment to the long-term future of this community facility alive.
Chair of the Board of Trustee Directors
McLaren Community Leisure Centre