Jan 25 2013 By Jackie Grant
DG One set to close for more than one year
The region’s flagship leisure facility, DG One, will be forced to close for more than a year to allow for repairs costing millions of pounds.
The council will begin court proceedings against contractor Kier Construction Ltd in a bid to recover up to £6 million, including the full cost of remedial work and lost income.
The news has been described as an “absolute disaster” by Nith ward Councillor John Martin.
“This has come as a complete shock,” he said.
“The facility will be closed for around the same amount of time as it took to build.”
DG One has been plagued with problems since it opened, six months behind schedule, in May 2008.
Within weeks of completion, tiles began coming loose in the training pool.
In October 2009, the same pool had to close for around three months while a moveable floor was replaced. And the main pool was shut last June after tiles fell from the inside walls.
At that point the authority decided to carry out a condition survey on the three-year-old complex.
Leader of the council, Ivor Hyslop said this week: “The council is now taking the necessary steps to address the issues with the building. I look forward to receiving a number of reports in the up-and-coming months on how we are addressing these issues.
“We are all extremely disappointed and frustrated with the situation with DG One.”
After a private council meeting on Tuesday, the local authority issued a statement, saying: “Over the past few years, there have been a number of disruptions to the leisure services at DG One, including closure of the pools and games hall.
“Following these closures, the council appointed independent technical experts to investigate and report on the cause of the problems experienced at DG One. A detailed schedule of defects was prepared and presented to the council. The list of defects relate to both the dryside (gym, games hall, bar) and the wetside (training pool, swimming pool, changing village).
“The remedial works required to address the defects were also identified by the technical experts. The cost of addressing all of the defects identified is estimated at £3.7 million.
“Councillors at Tuesday’s meeting of the policy and resources committee received an update from the director of community and customer services. The committee agreed that the council will now initiate court proceedings against Kier seeking to recover the full costs of the remedial works and all other reasonable costs and losses. The council will be seeking to recover up to £6 million.
“The council will now put arrangements in place to undertake the necessary remedial works. In order to do so, the council anticipates the building will have to be closed to the public from January 2014.
“Remedial works to the dryside will take approximately four months with the wetside being out of use for a further 13 months. The council acknowledges that the closure will have a significant, negative impact on customers. Community and customer services managers will develop a plan for mitigating this impact as far as possible.”
A spokesman for Kier Construction said: “We have always responded swiftly to any problems notified to us, and rectified all items that were our responsibility at our cost and within timescales agreed with the council. We are currently compiling a response to the alleged defects, which we are due to send to the council within the next few days, and we will continue to work with them to address and resolve any issues that are the responsibility of Kier.”