An under-threat Fife community project is now due to open its doors thanks to a crew of groundwater specialists.
The Gallatown Community Centre project in Kirkaldy ground to a halt when its budget couldn’t stretch to provide drainage for the site.
The nearest storm drain was so far away that connection would have added an additional £80,000 to the already stretched £700,000 budget.
There was no room for manoeuvre with the National Lottery-funded job for YMCA Scotland and the project, set to offer essential community services, looked dead in the water.
Kirkaldy YMCA General Secretary Liz Easton said: “The storm drains were too far away and it would have cost £80,000 that we didn’t have to reach them.
“We just didn’t have the money to do the work. But the solution came about as a complete fluke as a contractor on site had just been working with Groundwater Dynamics.
“We got in touch and they found the right solution for us.”
Frank O’Donnell from Groundwater Dynamics shunned the traditional method of connecting to the storm drains and approached the problem from a different angle.
Frank said: “We used the Eco 90 system which involves drilling 12 metres down to ensure water is not trapped at the surface and can travel into multiple layers of soil for drainage.
“This solution is perfect for many projects when connecting to storm drains and combined sewers is either not viable or has been refused.
“It’s a real game-changer as it deals with storm water at source, is completely carbon negative, and as was the case with this YMCA project make it possible to properly develop the site rather than abandon the project.”
This green solution not only solved the immediate problem faced by the project it even won it additional funding.
Liz Easton said: “Thanks to the groundwater drainage system and our heat-exchange ventilation we were able to secure additional funding £47,000 from the Fife Environmental Trust.”
The community centre which will provide a range of services including youth outreach, mental health support and sporting activities is due to open at the end of August 2021.