Aubigny Sports Centre, Haddington

Client: East Lothian Council

Location: East Lothian, Edinburgh

Value: £3.1m

Project Outline: East Lothian Council on behalf of enjoyleisure East Lothian, identified that the swimming pool and associated changing facilities at Aubigny Sports Centre required considerable investment and refurbishment. The facility is one of East Lothian’s original sports centres and originally opened its doors as Haddington Swimming Pool in September 1974. The much-loved site consists of a four-lane swimming pool and East Lothian’s only dedicated infant pool. The facility welcomes approximately 1,400 bathers to the pool each week for swimming lessons, AquaFit classes, swimming club training, school and public use and is an invaluable resource to the local community.

The project works comprised of refurbishing the internal surface finishes to the sports centre’s swimming pool, including the replacement of a glazed rooflight which runs the central spine of the swimming pool roof. Supplementary works also included, providing new lighting, the cleaning of the existing quarry floor tiles and isolated repairs to the changing facilities.

The swimming pool had to be drained prior to any works proceeding and the draining of the pool had to be undertaken at a controlled speed so as not to damage any tiles. The client had requested that the new wall/ceiling covering be modernised and provide a clean modern design compared to the original timber cladding /ceramic tile finish. The walls also had to be easy to maintain and clean.

Services: Appointed through The City of Edinburgh Council Framework Agreement for the provision of Building Surveying Services 2015-2019 (also utilised by East Lothian Council) Summers-Inman were commissioned to provide full building surveying, quantity surveying, project management, contract administrator and principal designer services.

This included administration of the contract works on behalf of the Client with responsible for chairing meetings, attending periodic inspections, issuing contract instructions, determining extension of time claims, certifying practical completion and negotiating the final account. In addition to the proposed project works, Summers-Inman also acted as the authorised agent for the submission of the Conversation Consent application.

Key Challenges: Just days prior to the cladding being installed to the ceiling of the swimming pool, the manufacturer of the cladding advised that they could no longer provide the materials as they weren’t willing to guarantee their product in a high-moisture environment. This was after we had received written assurances that they could provide a suitable ceiling cladding product meeting the specification requirements for a swimming pool environment.  This resulted in having to source an alternative product, ensuring that it would be suitable for a swimming pool environment and readily available to be installed at short notice.  During meetings and communications with the Client, contractor and new manufacturer, an alternative ceiling cladding material was agreed.  Although there was a slight delay to the completion of the project, the Client and the sports centre where keep fully appraised of any issues, to ensure that they could advise the local community and swimming groups who used the pool.  We acted rapidly to this issue major issue which could have had serious implications on the critical path of the programme.  Through excellent communication and collaboration with the project team, the problem was quickly resolved with minimal delay to the programme.

Added Value: We were instructed to procure, manage and administer the remedial works through the Clients’ framework contract.  We worked closely with the Centre management and the Contractor to ensure that the project brief and expectations were exceeded.  This included working out-with normal working hours and addressing and resolving any issues that were raised.  We were commended by both the User and the Team Manager of the Council’s Operational Asset Management Team for our input and for the success of the refurbishment works, bringing much needed investment to this vital local resource, encouraging the local community to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Communication: The project involved a high level of key stakeholder inclusivity due to the nature and use of the building.  It was vital to the Council, the user group and the sports centre operator that disruption to the building was minimised throughout the works. This required regular consultation and communication with all parties included the sports centre management, council estates and property teams, other consultants, principal contractors, sub-contractors and manufacturers.  To ensure appropriate levels of communications, we acted as the Project Lead and held regular key stakeholder meetings throughout the project, keeping all parties fully appraised of the progress of investigations, findings and the resultant remedial works.  All meetings were chaired and minuted by Summers-Inman with detailed minutes including allocated actions and timescales for delivery issued to all parties.

Delivery Team:

Aynsley Cheatley, Chartered Building Surveyor / Director: Project Director

Iain Macdonald, Senior Building Surveyor: Project Lead, Project Manager, Building Surveyor, Principal Designer & CAD Technician

Daniel Kemp, Building Surveyor: Building Surveyor & CAD Technician

Commendations: Bill Axon, Chief Executive of enjoyleisure, which runs the centre on behalf of East Lothian Council, said: “These works will completely enhance the visitor experience for all customers and have transformed the pool into a bright and modern community asset which can only benefit the population of Haddington and beyond.”

Tom Reid, East Lothian Council’s Head of infrastructure, added: “This is an excellent example of partnership working and we are delighted with the outcome, which we know will be greatly appreciated by both customers and staff alike.”

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