Sail, socalise and dine in the heart of Darwin
Winston Churchill once said “We shape our buildings: Thereafter, they shape us.”
I doubt the great man had the DSC Clubhouse in mind at the time however, shape us, this renovation most certainly has!
Phase 2 of the project that is the renovation of the Club’s main toilet block has encountered a number of unexpected delays in recent weeks. Combined, these issues, along with the time taken to source solutions and then co-ordinate the various trades involved has slowed progress.
As the existing tiling and fixtures were removed during demolition phase of Stage 2, a number of underlying issues were brought to our attention with the rooms taken back to bare shells.
The existing plumbing pipework had begun to perish. In some places, it had begun to leak weeping through the concrete. Installed more than 30 years ago, the copper pipes in that area have passed their typical working life (25 years). As the photo attached shows compared to a new piece of copper pipe, the walls of the tubing had deteriorated almost to be paper thin. It was deemed too risky to lay new tiles etc. over old pipework only to have it fail in the near future and have to remove and re-lay all new surfaces to access and replace the plumbing.
An electrical cable which connected the light switch for the male toilets had been drilled through (!?!) during initial installation. This cable needed to be dug out of the block wall and replaced also.
Finally, a decision to replace the fluoro tube lights with downlights in the toilets identified that the original plaster ceiling had become overly brittle and would not hold fixtures for new lights with any confidence.
After consultation with the Commodore and the Rear Commodore House, the builder’s recommendation was accepted to remove and replace the existing ceilings to allow new plumbing and electrical works to be re-run in the walls and ceiling (thereby saving floor excavation) before fitting a new ceiling.
This decision has impacted both the completion date and the costs of the project however the Club was left with little choice. On the positive, this solution will not only provide a new surface into which to fix the down lights into, all new plumbing and electrical should mean it is another 25 years before we have to revisit the plumbing and electrical in that area.
Making use of the downtime with phase 2, work has started on the final phase of the project which will see the Club’s office space expanded into the storage room behind the merchandise cabinets adjacent to the Tom Strickland room. This move will in turn allow the Sailing Manager and the Training Coordinator to move from the Tower into the main Club office at the conclusion of the sailing season.
With the major hurdles now cleared, I am pleased to report that work in earnest is scheduled now to commence again early next week. Without further delay, these toilets should be in operation by months end.
John Melenewycz - General Manager
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