Repairs on the Gungahlin pool are expected to begin “as soon as possible” after the ACT Government signed a $1.5 million contract with local construction company Kynetic on Wednesday afternoon (10 March).
The repair cost greatly exceeds the $400,000 settlement between the ACT Government and the pool’s original builder.
Sport and Recreation Minister Yvette Berry said the agreement with the original contractor was agreed to on advice from the Government Solicitor as experts were unable to pinpoint a specific fault that led to the tiles falling off the pool.
Ms Berry said the government will be as transparent and forthcoming with information during the upcoming repairs as possible, updating the community every fortnight.
She is also receiving advice on whether the Government can publically release the three independent reports into the pool, as well as the negotiated agreement with the original contractor.
ACT Chief Engineer Adrian Piani, who runs the construction procurement team that will be overseeing the pool’s repairs, said the government had confidence in the company’s ability due to its track record with similar works, including repairs at the Erindale pool.
The contract was not put to a public tender. Instead, the ACT Government approached Kynetic through the project management agreement panel, a list of just under 20 contractors who are pre-qualified to undertake work for the government.
All the tiles, levelling screeds and coatings of the Gungahlin Pool will have to be removed, but a report from a structural engineer did not find faults with the foundation of the pool, Mr Piani said.
Liberal MLA for the Gungahlin-based seat of Yerrabi called the situation a debacle and said: “it is clear from this entire process Canberrans cannot have confidence in this process or the Minister”.
“Minister Berry says the government will send in regular inspectors, but they did inspections when the pool was initially built which failed to pick up any of the issues we are now seeing.”
Construction should not disrupt the Gungahlin Leisure Centre, which is expected to remain open throughout the repair process.
Ms Berry said similar problems have not been identified in other pools in the Leisure Centre.