Case Studies

King Alfred Leisure Centre

LOCATION Hove Seafront

Acting as Principal Contractor, Dorton were contracted by our client Brighton & Hove Council, to dismantle the former water flumes and splash pool at the King Alfred Leisure Centre, Hove. This was an interesting and involved project which combined working alongside a ‘live’ leisure centre and busy seafront esplanade to dismantle the equipment as well as a considerable chunk of enabling works to make good.

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As with many projects a type 3 survey was commissioned, by Dorton Group, to identify any asbestos materials present. None were found. A specialist scaffolding contractor was engaged to erect protective ‘ranch board style’ scaffolding against the retained elevation of the swimming pool and its roof along with a covered emergency escape route from the poolside to the seafront esplanade. Partial demolition of the rear of the Leisure Centre was also intended and to separate the retained from that to be demolished, a split line was created by hand working. To add to the constrained working conditions, the public loo on the opposite site boundary had to stay in use and the aerial footbridge crossing the splash pool was to remain in use as a further emergency escape route from the Leisure Centre to the roadside.

The majority of the dismantling of the flumes (water slides) and access tower was carried out by hand cutting methods working from the safety of a mobile elevated work platform MEWP). The sections had to be taken down carefully, in reverse sequence to their construction, utilising a mobile crane sited outside of the site boundary, under license, but fenced in as a protective shield from the public.

The intricate manner in which the flumes had been erected, presumably to enhance the ride, made the dismantling that much more difficult and combined with the fact that some of the steel supports doubled as bracing and stiffeners to the aerial footbridge over the splash pool was a conundrum that our engineers had to solve. A degree of welding and replacement of handrails etc necessitated a safe finish to the bridge.

Disconnection of ‘live’ services proved to be another obstacle to overcome as well as making good to boundary walls, replacement of steel gates and railings, erection of safety roof barriers to the exposed open edge, rainwater goods renewal, infilling with crushed hardcore to the reduced dig levels and the forming of an access ramp for maintenance purposes were just a few of the incidentals necessary to complete the project. Although not a large demolition job, in the strictest sense, this was one of those projects that demonstrated the need to be flexible, innovative and prepared to take on any challenge in order to get the job finished on time and within the clients budget.

We managed to do all this in a punishing schedule of 6 weeks.