As the Forest Hill Pools are replaced over the next year or so, we’ll hear from members of the team involved in the improvements. This issue we speak to Dominic Collins, Construction Manager for Willmott Dixon.
Q: What is your role on the pools project?
A: I have overall responsibility for day to day running of the project.
Q: What sort other projects have you worked on?
A: I have just completed a major school redevelopment in Kent and prior to this constructed the new Grandstand at Epsom race course. Willmott Dixon has constructed over 100 swimming pools over the last ten years across the country. Locally, we have constructed Hither Green Primary School, Crossways Academy and just completed work at Goldsmith's College.
Q: What did you think of the site for Forest Hill Pools when you first visited it?
A: The original swimming pool had already been demolished but we were very impressed with the clean and tidy condition of the site.
Q: What is the most interesting aspect?
A: For me it is the retention and full refurbishment of the original Victorian entrance and lobby building. When set against the original features of the Victorian structure, the modern aspects of the new facility are striking and say a lot about the buildings’ main purpose and function.
Q: What is your biggest challenge on this project?
A: The refurbishment of the Victorian entrance and lobby will need complicated temporary structural supporting works on the internal walls and floors.
Q: You will be working from Louise House (next to the pools), do you know much about its history?
A: I have read up on Louise House on the internet, I know that it was a Girls Industrial Home built in 1891, with Thomas W Aldwinckle as architect and William Johnson, builder.
Q: What is your dream project?
A: I am a big rugby fan so would love to construct a new stadium.