It’s like building a giant jigsaw ...

View from the crane on the site of the new swimming pool
View from the crane on the site of the new swimming pool

looking out over the large expanse of building site, it looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle which is being put together piece by piece, with the centrepiece a massive 80 metre high crane which dominates the central Kirkcaldy skyline.

And, although from the outside it does not appear that much has been done on building Kirkcaldy’s controversial new swimming pool complex, when you are inside the boundaries of the site it is apparent that a huge amount of spadework has already been completed.

From the massive concrete foundations to the huge concrete basins of the two pools to the metal spikes sticking skywards waiting for the next section of wall to be added.

The large lift shaft which currently stands at first floor height, the whole footprint of the complex is already mapped out in preparation for the next stage of construction.

The project is now a third of the way through, with a completion date of the onsite work set for early summer 2013.

According to project manager Neil Douglas, who has been on site with Graham Construction since day one, 60 per cent of the drainage work is complete and the next major stage in the process will be the arrival of the 400 tons of structural steel which will form the framework of the building.

Once this is in place, the public will definitely see the whole thing starting to come together.

Taking shape

“Once the steelwork starts going in things will really begin to take shape and people will be able so see the shape and size of the building,” he explained.

Construction on the site started six months ago, although for the first six weeks the site remained an operating car park in the run up to Christmas.

“So far we have dug out and laid all the foundations and formed the pool shells which are concrete tanks. This involved digging down into the ground to 10 feet in places.

“Sixty per cent of the drainage is now in place and the lift shaft is currently being built.

‘‘When that is in place then all the steelwork connects on to that as it is the main lift for the whole building and will stand about 10 to 12 metres high.

“The training pool has a floating floor which can be lowered using cables to increase the depth which can be up to two metres deep, and the sports hall will be on the first floor of the building to the back, nearest the High Street, with the whole footprint around 5000 square metres.”

Neil explained that the delivery of the steelwork is scheduled for June 25, followed by the testing of the pools at the end of June to ensure there are no leaks.

The pre cast concrete slabs will then go up, forming the shell of the whole building, followed by the roof and cladding to make the whole building watertight. The timescale for this stage is mid September.

Over the six months so far 162 workers from ground workers, engineers, joiners and steel fixers have been employed on the site, with many of them local.

“Things have all gone fairly smoothly so far, with the main challenge being the tightness of the site, but we knew that from day one, and that’s the reason we needed such a large crane on site.”

The new complex will offer:

* 25m x six-lane swimming pool with poolside spectating for 90 people

* 16.67m x 8m training pool with an underwater moveable floor

* Accessible family wetside changing facilities

* Purpose-built health suite with sauna and steam room, located near the pool area

* 60-station gym with the latest range of cardiovascular, resistance and free weights equipment

* Purpose-built aerobics studio

* New four-court sports hall

* Purpose-built children’s play centre with café nearby

* Meeting room