Following a litany of delayed opening dates for the new Lucan pool, local councillors were given the opportunity to avail of an on-site tour of the long-awaited new facility on Friday 26th January. Councillor Derren Ó Brádaigh took the tour of what is still a construction site and was commenting immediately afterwards.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh said “This site visit was requested by councillors, providing an opportunity to see firsthand just where the project is actually at. Criticism surrounding repeated delays toward an opening date have been rife amongst the local community and people are understandably frustrated having been offered several opening dates, all now long surpassed.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh said “The visit was both welcome and needed. This was organised by Council management with the developer in an attempt to allay concerns and offer local councillors a true progress report and better appreciation into the nature of the seemingly endless delays in delivering this long-awaited public facility. Unfortunately, we were not permitted to take pictures or audio whilst on site due to site security and GDPR.
“Whilst I accept that this project has experienced some setbacks amid particular challenges, the sheer overall time involved since construction began simply cannot be excused. Last year, I conveyed my own serious concern directly to Council management toward greater accountability for publicly procured projects. And despite much anticipation about a revised timeline, we could not elicit a revised date. We were however told that a date will be offered in 3 weeks’ time.
Ó Brádaigh also said “The site visit for members of the Lucan and Palmerstown-Fonthill local electoral area was useful, and I will be relaying more of the details with the community in the days ahead, in order to address the countless queries I have received to date from local residents in Lucan. “We received a room-by-room tour and detailed rundown from the County architect on the progress of the overall project that is into it’s fifth year within a fixed price contract of €12.5m. Whilst the facility is unquestionably impressive inside, there would appear to be some considerable completion works yet to happen.
“The principal areas of challenge relate to the moveable floor for the multi-level pool. A delivery of steel for external completion and specialist tiling grout are outstanding. Another critical issue that needs to be resolved is the foul connection and involves the main external utilities provider, however work continues to be progressed by 25-30 skilled workers daily, with more on site depending on the nature of works at any given stage.
“The facility will include 3 spacious multi-purpose activity rooms. The exterior west side of the building will be used as an outside exercise space and to the west of the building, there will be access through to Griffeen Valley Park. The main pool is 25mtr and the multi-level pool is 13 x 8 mts. The main ‘weights/gym’ area is a large area, and the facility includes sauna, steam rooms, extensive changing room space and poolside showers. There is a very sophisticated filtration and air conditioning room that will cleanse water and control moisture levels within the building. The main pool area is well designed to extract maximum exposure to natural light.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh concluded “Despite delays, I have no doubt that the finished article will be something that the local community will be very happy with. It was evident from the work taking place on site that there is an incredible focus to detail and quality workmanship. We were reminded of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ leisure centres that experienced significant issues, with many having to subsequently undergo extensive remedial works long ahead of time, and in some cases closing for long periods, including up to one year in a particular case.
“We were also informed that weekly progress meetings are in place involving the Council, the contractor and the new facilities operator. A meeting for councillors has also been arranged with Aura Leisure in the Council Chamber on Tuesday February 20th and I look forward to learning more about the plans in respect of the newly refurbished and eagerly anticipated Lucan Leisure Centre finally opening its doors.