POOLSIDE facilities at Lerwick’s Clickimin Leisure Complex will open on Monday for the first time in five weeks after safety fears closed the swimming pool.
Repairs and lost income have already cost the trust £160,000 as a result of the closure caused when part of a bolt fell into the pool from its roof last month.
On Friday Shetland Recreational Trust said they would be able to open the pool café, health suite, hydrotherapy pool, soft play area and waterside suite from 10am on 31 August.
However the main pool, toddlers’ pool and river area including the flume will remain out of action until mid to late October.
Engineers inspecting the roof of the 20 year old pool building found the bolts in the brackets attaching the glazing panels to the roof beams had rusted and needed replacing.
They said the “stress corrosion cracking” had been caused by the high humidity and temperature in the building.
The trust has replaced the bolts temporarily while it waits for new tough rust-resistant bolts to be imported from the US.
They said the new bolts would be 400 times as strong as the existing ones, and therefore would probably “outlast the building”.
While the repairs should be complete within three weeks, it will take around one month to dismantle the scaffolding, make the pool area safe and clean up before starting the slow process of filling the pool with 1,000 tonnes of water that has to be heated very slowly (one degree per day) to prevent the pool tiles from cracking.
The damage has cost the trust £80,000 so far in repairs and a further £80,000 in lost income, making it urgent to reactivate the building as soon as possible to reduce its losses.
Trust general manager James Johnston said: “The pool will remain closed but the café, health suite, hydrotherapy pool, soft play area and waterside suite will be open to the public.
“These spaces can be open until the contractor is finished, but will then have to close again to allow the scaffolding to come down and the pool to be re-filled before the pool can fully re-open.”
He added that the health suite would be offering discounts during this period of disruption. He also stressed that the all the necessary precautions had been put in place to make sure that the areas open to the public were safe.
Meanwhile the Scalloway pool will remain open for extended hours from 7am to 8pm on weekdays, 10am to 7pm on Saturdays and 11am to 7pm on Sundays.
Johnston offered special thanks to consultant engineer Mott MacDonald and contractors DITT and Access 2000 for their commitment to doing the work needed to find a solution to the issue.
“These local companies prioritised this job, at a busy time, and they have pulled out the stops to minimise the time that the pool needs to be closed to the public,” he said.
Trust chairman Bryan Leask also thanked customers for their understanding.
“We hope that the alternative arrangements at Scalloway pool and elsewhere are going some way towards minimising the disruption to their usual leisure time activities, but we would like to apologise again to our customers for any inconvenience caused,” he said.
“We look forward to welcoming back our customers to enjoy the health suite, hydrotherapy pool, waterside suite and café next week.”
He urged people to check the website at www.srt.org.uk or phone the pool directly on 01595 807716 for information on public swimming times.
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