ESSENTIAL repairs are being carried out at Clickimin Leisure Centre in Lerwick while it is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A routine maintenance check in late January identified a fault in the reinforced concrete around the outlet pipes within the deep end of the main pool.
The leak allowed pool water to pass into the main plant room. This plant room houses all the plant and equipment to operate the pool building.
To allow an assessment and repair works to be carried out the main pool was drained, with the process of emptying the pool taking seven days.
Shetland Recreational Trust staff are currently undertaking remedial repairs to the outlets. Once this is complete the pool will be deep cleaned and refilled.
Trust chief executive Steven Laidlaw said it was fortunate that the fault was discovered while the centre was already closed.
“Luckily due to our current closure due to Covid-19 we have been able to investigate and get the work done whilst we are closed,” he said.
“Thankfully, that has meant we have not had to turn anyone away and close the pool. We should be ready to welcome swimmers back as soon as we can safely reopen the centre.”
Laidlaw said regular checks were carried out at all centres to ensure the facilities were safe and maintained to a high standard.
He added that the discovery of the fault at Clickimin highlighted the challenges facing the trust, which is run independently and governed by a board of trustees, as some of its leisure centres approach 40 years since their opening.
Clickimin was officially opened in March 1985, while the youngest leisure centre in West Mainland opened in September 2002.
Laidlaw said it was possible that similar faults could occur at any of the trust’s buildings over the coming years – presenting a difficult financial challenge.
“Although you can never budget for the extra costs associated with this kind of incident we do everything we can to maintain the buildings and equipment to hopefully avoid the need for unexpected closure,” he said.
It is part of the trust’s strategy to retain its network of leisure centres, but maintaining them comes at a significant cost.
Laidlaw added that everything possible would be done to keep the centres in good order within the trust’s budgetary constraints.
“We greatly appreciate the support of all our funding partners, including Shetland Charitable Trust and the SIC,” he said.
“Thanks to the support of the public over the last year and with financial support from the government throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have enough funds to complete the essential repair work at Clickimin.
“However, given that the SRT has an ageing estate it is possible that similar faults may occur which could be increasingly expensive to repair.”
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