Tuesday 16th September 2008 by C. Freeman
Builders constructing Brooke Weston's new Arts and Media wing have had to contend with unexpected circumstances and terrible weather. As well as the worst summer in years there has been a massive amount of groundwater filtering into the site from a layer of sand.
Builders from Jeakins Weir brought in four pumps to drain the water before laying extra concrete and tanking materials to ensure the foundations and floorslab were watertight. The unscheduled work took an extra three weeks to complete and the lack of dry weather has also posed problems.
Project manager John McHarg said 'The weather has not been kind to us but despite that we are progressing fine. We are behind programme but that's unfortunately because it's been the worst summer on record. We've put in the foundations, retaining walls and we're now just getting ready for the floor slab - we're pushing on as best we can.'
Once the concrete floor slab is poured and finished then upper floor and roof will follow along with construction of the blockwork walls. Floor screeds will be poured to a depth of 75mm and it takes a day for each millimetre of depth to dry out before floor finishes can be applied.
It is likely that building work will continue over the Christmas period when Brooke Weston shuts down. Mr McHarg said 'If I can get the roof on before Christmas at least I can get a chance of getting work going on inside. Once you get the roof on all your internal trades start and the weather doesn't affect you.'
The new £4m annexe measures 1,400 square metres and will provide music, drama and dance facilities.