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Carbonear councilor wondering ‘where the ball dropped’ on swimming pool renovation

By Mark Squibb/December 30, 2021

Carbonear councilor Danielle Doyle said the town should not have to be dealing with water buildup in newly designed changerooms at the swimming pool.

The issue was raised at the December 14 council meeting during the recreation committee report.

“Prior to reading the minutes yesterday, I had already e-mailed the director of operations and director of recreation and the CAO about water build up in the brand-new change rooms, and I know that it’s in the budget to fix that, but I’m very disappointed that that we have to spend money on this, after already spending a barrel of money and a year doing these change rooms,” said Doyle. “I don’t know where the ball dropped, that the design didn’t allow for proper drainage of that water. If it was the consultant’s mistake, or our mistake, I think we need to be more diligent on picking these things up.”

Chief administrative officer CAO Cynthia Davis gave some clarification to the type of contract used for the changeroom construction.

“It’s based on unit prices, so regardless, we would have had to pay the unit price for that different type of a system,” said Davis.

“But, if it’s done on unit prices, how are we awarding these projects?” asked Doyle. “If we’re going with the lowest price, but then it’s going to cost us further money and further delays and shutting down the changerooms and all that later on, then we’re better off including that as a part of it and having it all done the first time.”

Davis said that for as long as she has been working for the town, there has never been a project that went off completely without a hitch and without the need for some revisions.

“Whether it’s water and sewer or infrastructure, or a building, there’s change orders,” said Davis. “Things come up that are not detected in the construction. I agree it would have been nice to have them done, but it’s one of those things that happens, and again, I don’t know if there’s a project we’ve ever had that there there’s hasn’t been some sort of a change order, or there hasn’t been some sort of an issue detected along the way.”

Doyle was not mollified.

“We’re paying all of this money for consultants, and this is the stuff I feel consultants should be picking up,” said the councilor. “We’re not swimming pool experts, none of us in this room are. I would imagine our Town Clerk Cathy Somers spends the most time at the pool. You know, we’re not swimming pool people, and that’s what we’re paying all this big money for. And the amount of water that’s in there, it’s not a little bit of water, it’s a lot of water, and the water on the tiles is slippery, and dangerous. I was so excited about these new changerooms, but when I went in and saw all the water, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’”

In response to a follow up e-mail from The Shoreline, Davis explained the issue arose from improper drainage after two change rooms had been renovated into one gender neutral change room.

“The issue is that there is a wall of open showers,” read Davis’ e-mail. “These each have a round drain out from the shower head, but the drain does not capture all the water from the shower head and it flows onto the floor of the changeroom. The proposed solution is to install a trench type drain around the wall of showers so all water from the showers is captured and does not have an opportunity to flow throughout the changeroom. The town has not obtained a quote to complete this work to date.”

Davis also said the work was completed in accordance with the design as tendered and awarded, and that any changes to that contract would require a change order, the cost of which would be the responsibility of the town. It was decided to complete the contract as tendered and awarded as it was almost complete when the drainage issue was discovered.

“It was felt that quotes to complete the change would be less costly afterwards when separate quotes could be obtained and it was a competitive process,” said Davis.


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