The refurbishment of Thirroul Pavilion is going to take longer than expected.
Council was hoping to have it all completed by Easter 2016, however now they’ve started work, they’ve discovered the damage to the 75 year old buildings is far worse than first thought, so work could continue right through until next Summer.
Work started in August to repair the buildings and reconfigure the layout, but it appears they’re in worse condition than first thought.
Council’s Director of Infrastructure & Works (Acting) Mike Dowd says although they did as much investigation as possible ahead of time, they’ve had a few nasty surprises.
“With any old building, we do as much investigation as we can ahead of time,” he says, “but it’s not until we start peeling back the layers that the real story emerges, and that’s what’s happened with the Thirroul Beach Kiosk and Pavilion.
“As the floor and wall linings were removed, we’ve found that the old brick walls of the kiosk and residence were saturated with salt and had deteriorated much more severely than expected. In many places, there was no mortar left at all.
“We called in an independent structural engineer, and following their advice we’ve installed temporary supports to prop up the roof.
“The next step will be to demolish the failed walls, and rebuild them, which is not something we had originally planned,” said Mr Dowd.
“The building is part of the Thirroul Baths precinct and has local heritage significance, so we’ll reuse any original materials we can to preserve that historic value. We’ll also ensure that any rebuilt sections match the original appearance of the building as closely as possible.
“Taken with the discovery of asbestos material beneath the change room floors, which was removed by qualified experts in October, this will unfortunately add some months to the project.
“We’ll be bringing extra workers on site to rebuild the walls as quickly as possible. While that’s happening, we will continue with as much work as we can on the rest of the building.
“We also need to do some further investigation of the kiosk parapet and the change room walls to make sure they’re structurally sound. We always knew some of the bricks would need to be replaced – unfortunately the extent of brick and mortar damage is greater than our initial testing indicated.
“Our plan was to complete the refurbishment in Autumn 2016, but even with these setbacks we’re still optimistic that we’ll have the work completed before the start of the 2016-17 swim season.”
The Thirroul Beach Kiosk and Pavilion upgrade is supported through the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme.