New Sports Centre

A windy week makes for slow progress
Cat Thompson

It has been a slow but steady week on site, with progress somewhat hindered by high winds and rain. We have been lucky to date, so I suppose it was fair to expect some bad weather over the winter, it is just unfortunate that it is when we are trying to put the roof on!

However, in the early part of the week, the Main Sports Hall roof did get underway, before the winds prevented it continuing.  The curved shape above the flat roof has begun to take shape.

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A rooftop view
Cat Thompson

This week thanks must go again to alumni Melville James and David Price for the wonderful aerial images.  The pictures were taken last week and the progress made is even more apparent from above. Last week's lovely weather has unfortunately disappeared, so we were lucky they caught this window of opportunity.  

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Roofing begins
Cat Thompson

The crane returned this week to lift the base structure for the roof into place.  After the safety netting and scaffolding were installed, the stacks of roofing were lifted up and the first pieces were secured to the accommodation building on Friday.  The bricklayers and ground workers have also returned and the path around the building now looks 'path-like' - if that is not stating the obvious! 

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Half Term sees us reach Week 23
Cat Thompson

The work this week has been much less visible, but it has been busy nonetheless.  Works included pouring the concrete that forms the Sports Hall floor (photos to follow as keen not to add footprints to it!), an electrical outage to allow alteration to the mains panel and the installation of the scaffolding required to allow the next phase of works to begin.

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'Craning' for a look at the new floor
Cat Thompson

The weather relented for part of this week and snow was replaced with sunshine just in time for the 130 tonne crane to arrive. The brick layers had spent Open Day playing catch up, so that the block work base was in place in time for the arrival of the crane.  Stretching 60m above the site, it was a welcome sign of progress after the previous week. 

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Progress slowed by the snow
Cat Thompson

A short entry this week, as Week 20 has been a bit of a quiet week on the building site. Luckily we were ahead of schedule going into the week, as cold temperatures and snow covered ground has halted progress somewhat. Works have continued, but as the brick work cannot be laid when it is covered in snow, then a catch up plan is in place for the start of next week. The School site however has looked beautiful, and the pupils have been out enjoying the snow.

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One third done
Cat Thompson

Winter arrived this week with the first dusting of snow and far chillier temperatures on the Hill. Unfortunately these are not ideal conditions for laying the block work, however the foul drainage works continued regardless and so time was not lost.

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We've been framed!
Cat Thompson

As Week 18 draws to a close, visible progress continues to be made.  The project is running to time and next week moves us on again to a new phase.

The steel frame is now complete and on Tuesday the brickwork will commence. Changes will then seem slower, until the planks arrive for the floor in about 3 weeks. 

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A view from the top!
Cat Thompson

After the Christmas break, works began in earnest again last week. We are now on Week 17 of 58 and the building is really starting to take shape. With the high winds prevent us from getting the whole rear frame up before Christmas, we have now caught up and are running to plan.

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An exciting finish to the term
Cat Thompson

Week 14 (of 58) began with the long awaited arrival of the crane and the first steel delivery, marking a new stage in the project.  By Monday afternoon, the first steels were up and the structure began to become a reality. We have been developing the plans for this building for over 2 years, so to see it start to rising from the ground was an exciting marker point (at least for a Bursar!).

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Ready for the next phase
Cat Thompson

As term ends, the Sports Centre build also finishes one phase, ready to start the next on Monday. The groundworks and footings are complete and the crane mat is in place, ready for Monday morning and the arrival of the crane and the steel frame. By the end of Monday, the building should hopefully be rising out of the ground.

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Footings Complete
Cat Thompson

With the weather continuing to be wet, we are pleased to have reached the end of the work on the footings. The diagram below shows the past four weeks of work, with the purple segment showing the first concrete to be poured, orange the second, blue the third and this week, the uncoloured segment that forms the atrium, squash court and changing rooms. 

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The site continues to be 'flying high'
Cat Thompson

We have been 'flying high' on the site again this week. These pictures, taken last week, by alumnus, Melville James, show the scale of the site when compared against Sheffield House and really help to show how the building will fit into the wider site. The front facade will be visible when entering from the Plymouth entrance but only part of the second floor and roof will be visible from the Reception building. It will act as the link between the fitness suite/swimming pool complex, the sports pitches and the astroturf, forming a sporting focus on the Hill.

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The building plans feel more 'concrete' now
Cat Thompson

The Sports Centre project has taken a step forward this week, as some of the mud has been replaced by concrete.  The main focus has been to get the trenches ready for the first pour of the concrete footings for the rear section of the main sports hall. The following two weeks will see the continuing of this process, completing the work on the hall footings and laying the footings of the teaching, changing and reception unit to the front of the building.

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Remembering the past whilst building the future
Cat Thompson

Week 8 of the build marks a poignant moment in the School history, as we all mark 100 years since the signing of the armistice treaty at the end of First World War.  The School lost 63 former pupils during the hostilities and the image below, taken in about 1905, shows 7 of those boys, sitting on the embankment opposite Swansea House, where we are now digging the foundations of the new Sports Centre. The names of Glenelg Bartrum, Walter Burton, Edwin Davies, Horace Devine, Arthur Kirk, Harold Kirk and Henry Stayte are recorded along with the others who gave their lives, on the memorial in our Chapel. Walking to the site this morning, following our Remembrance Service in Chapel, I took a moment to reflect on the sacrifice made by the boys who sat on the embankment 113 years ago. 

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Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!
Cat Thompson

By the end of last week the team had moved around 6000 cubic metres of earth, leaving around 3000 more to shift. With the Year 9s away on a battlefield tour in France, we rather aptly began this week with a pretty good attempt at recreating the muddy conditions of a WWI trench here at Kingham. The only resultant loss however, was that of one of our contractors boots, which got stuck in the mud and came off when they pulled him out!

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Dirt digging and mud moving
Cat Thompson

Mrs Austin and Mr Sheppard this week took some excellent aerial photographs of the building site, which give a far better picture of the scale of the job in hand. The digging is progressing well, but whilst it looks on the surface that lots of earth has been moved, the drone images show how much more has still to be shifted.  

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