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Fort pool demolition ‘most complex’ States have done

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ONE of the biggest and most complex demolition projects is taking place at the derelict Fort Regent pool site – 16 years after the facility closed.

Fort Regent Swimming Pool walk around..Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (25758962)

Contractors have begun an initial four-month project to remove around 12 tonnes of asbestos materials from its internal structure.

During that time, the public are unlikely to notice any changes to the exterior of the building, but it is expected that the visible parts of the facility will be torn down in a matter of weeks in the spring.

Shaun Ingram, construction manager for DB Cummins, said that the construction methods used to create the building would make bringing it down quite difficult.

‘Because the roof is curved the metal trusses in the roof are all bowed and there is a lot of tension – kinetic energy – in them. If we were to shear it then it would spring back and that is when the demolition becomes quite difficult,’ he said.

‘It is a 16-week process to remove the asbestos – when everyone will think that nothing is happening – and after that there will be a six-week period when it will visibly start coming down and everyone will probably say, “Well, what have they been doing then?”.’

Anthony Norman, from Jersey Property Holdings, said that every side of the building had been fitted with asbestos board before being covered with metal cladding.

He added that during strong winds, the exterior cladding had blown off and temporary safety repairs had to be made.

‘The Le Coie Hotel was probably the largest but this is definitely the most complex demolition project that we have ever undertaken,’ he said.

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‘The roof struts are pre-stressed so that adds a large degree of complexity. Also, because it was a swimming pool it has large floor to ceiling heights so that makes things more difficult.

‘There is also a lot of sprayed asbestos, which means that the contractors have to inject it with a special resin and then manually scrape it all off, which does take a bit of time. It had really good anti-fire properties but it was also very good for acoustics for when there were screaming kids in here, so it had a double purpose. It was cheap and it was a wonder product at the time.’

Mr Norman added that the asbestos treatment facility at La Collette was capable of handling the hazardous waste.

‘We have spoken to the guys down at La Collette and they know what is coming and they have sufficient capacity,’ he said.

‘They do not always open every day so they might have to open on other days, but that should be about it.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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