Highlands & Islands

Pool at £48.5m Wick Joint Campus not fully visible to spectators

Swimmer Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption It is understood that two lanes of the pool are not visible to the seating area

The new community swimming pool at the £48.5m Wick Joint Campus is not fully visible to its spectators area, it has emerged.

Highland Council has already said the campus is unlikely to open to school pupils and staff in October as planned because of delays to its completion.

The local authority has now also confirmed that it is aware of issues concerning the pool's seating area.

It is understood that two lanes of the pool are not visible from the seats.

The configuration and design of the pool is the responsibility of the council, rather than Hub North Scotland (Wick) Ltd, the organisation overseeing the construction of the campus.

The pool is part of the campus which, once open, will offer community facilities as well as a new Wick High School and new buildings for the town's Pulteneytown and South primaries.

Highland Council said: "We are aware of issues concerning seating and viewing of the new Wick High school swimming pool. This matter will be considered at the education, children and adults services committee on 25 August."

'Complex projects'

Following the announcement of delays in opening the campus, Highland Council's leader Margaret Davidson has asked the local authority's chief executive for an overview of the delivery of education capital projects.

She said this would look at where "further improvements can be made and any problems can be avoided".

Ms Davidson told BBC Radio Scotland that news of the pool viewing area was "disappointing", adding that she "believed there were other issues" to be addressed.

She said it was important that people in Wick were informed of the problems and that the issues were resolved before the campus was opened to the public.

On the delays to the completion of the campus, Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of Hub North Scotland, said: "Projects of this nature can be complex and, as such, challenges can arise during construction.

"As Highland Council's development partner, Hub North Scotland will continue to work closely with the main contractor to minimise the impact of this delay on the final completion and handover date for the building.

"Whilst any delay is regrettable, the key factor is ensuring that the project is delivered in line with the high standards set by hub North Scotland and our partner organisations.

"We are committed to delivering first-class facilities which will benefit generations to come."

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