We are now around half way through our Capital project. The scaffolding has now come down on the west wing of the building to reveal the lovely new pointing which has freshened up the brickwork. The new pointing is made of lime stone mortar and will enable the building to breathe and erode naturally. You may have also noticed, if you have passed that we have a new colour on our windows. Most windows on the west wing have been restored and painted in our new blue tone. The new guttering and chimney stacks are now complete.
Inside the west wing, the heating and electrics are nearly finished, and the new insulated roof in the galleries and community spaces are looking very smart. All of the door casings have been upgraded to be fire proof. The front window of the cafe has a new ‘shop front’ style to return it to it’s original format, as it would have been when the building was built. A steel plate has been installed across the beam in the main gallery, to strengthen it after a large crack had been discovered by a structural engineer.
On the east wing of the building, CWR Scaffolding have reassembled the magnificent structure to mirror what was taken down on the west wing. Dobson’s have begun to strip the roof. There is one large crack going floor to ceiling which has been discovered. The structural engineer will be paying a visit to advise on how best to remedy this. As in the west wing, the builders are preparing the walls for the timber wall braces which will act to help keep the new roof on.
BMDC Building regs have recommended that the ceilings in the lower ground floor are upgraded to 60 minutes fire protection affecting four studios and the maintenance room. This is an important addition to the works that we have decided to complete so that our building is up to current fire regulations.
Once the scaffolding is down on the east wing in May, we will start on our project to improve the back garden. This will include; introducing a covered gazebo area, festoon lighting, seating and planting. The views are fantastic after some of the trees on Enderley road have been removed last year due to having Ash dieback disease. We are looking forward to a loosening of restrictions timed with the opening of our new garden space as well as a programme of events and outdoor workshops.