As work continues on the construction of the new North Stand, lead contractor Paul Whitehead gives supporters an update regarding the build.
Since the last blog, the majority of the steel frame has been completed and the Verlin Stand end of the frame is fully complete with end panels and staircases in place.
As is typical with this type of development, it appears on the face to be stop-start in terms of what you see happening over a period of time. When the ground works phase was on-going it appeared little was happening, then with the steel frame going up there was a spurt of obvious progression followed by another period where not much visible progress has been apparent. However, as the cladding and windows work starts over the coming weeks progress will once again be obvious.
Last week saw the announcement of the Sports Direct deal and the store that will be opening in the new stand. Plans to accommodate the store and indeed the gym have been worked up over the last few months and work has been ongoing on the ground floor during the last month to complete the necessary alterations and infrastructure required.
This has included encasing the bases of the steel columns, completing the below ground brick and block work, bringing up the ground levels to a sand blinding ready to take the gas vents required under the slab. The installation of the gas venting and membrane works have commenced this week meaning that we are able to commence the last bay of steelwork today. Work is also ongoing to the apron between the front of the seats and the blue track around the pitch with final drainage being installed before the concrete is put down.
In terms of spend the scheme is probably now some 40% complete and the main infrastructure is substantially complete. Once the building becomes virtually watertight as the cladding and windows are installed then progress can speed up as more trades, particularly internally, start their elements of the scheme.
The final steelwork will be complete before the end of the month and the cladding to the roof will commence during the week after the game against Melbourne.
The design teams attention is now turning to the internal fit out including the executive boxes etc. at first floor. Regular meetings are taking place with the club’s representatives as we look to finalise smaller details such as layouts for kitchens, bars and colour choices.
The time lapse video on the club website has enabled supporters to see the stand develop. Unfortunately as the majority of the recent works have been under the stand and out of view of the camera, it has not been possible to record much of the works. We therefore added some photographs to the website last week. We will be looking to start the time lapse camera again this week and continue the weekly update that will show the steel frame, cladding and windows works as they progress.