Lewisham Council has now appointed the principal building contractor for the new Swimming Pools. Construction firm, Wilmot Dixon, will take over the site early in the new year. This is very exciting news at a difficult financial time for the Council and confirms the final go-ahead.
Hilary Renwick, Lewisham’s Head of Cultural Services, has confirmed that construction will start towards the end of January. The current timetable sees the main bulk of the building completed in May 2012, with completion and testing of the services from June to August. The Council is hopeful that the new facility will open to the community in September 2012. This is a complex site and there are a number of areas which could delay completion, but it is still exciting stuff and fits in very well with the end of the Olympics.
A further piece of good news is that the Council has invited all those on the stakeholder group to an initial meeting with Wilmott Dixon so that they can meet the Contractor's team and enjoy a celebratory drink. Those of us on the Stakeholder Group very much look forward to continuing to work with the Council and its design team during the construction phase and hope to be able to influence the way that the building will be run and managed.
We will provide regular updates on progress from the New Year. We are planning a series of interviews with different people involved during the project - from the architect to the site manager - so do let us know if there is a particular member of the team you are interested in hearing from.
The other good news is that the contractors have requested to use Louise House, the former Girls’ Industrial Home, as their site office during the build. It may not be the most glamorous of uses for Louise House but it may have some long term benefit. The company says the parts of the building they use would be returned “in the same or better condition”. Importantly it would keep it in use and heated over two winters while the community continues to work with the Council to find a financially viable use for the building.
On further questioning, Wilmott Dixon confirmed that its tender includes redecoration of the areas occupied, services testing and enhancement, with Fire Certification and an allowance for building rates, service connections and consumption costs.
The old laundry block at the back will not be used.