The project is moving into the finishings stage, with oak cladding being added to the internal structure, and bookcases being installed. The staircase is now fully installed, and the foyer areas have been glazed. Outside, the bedding areas for the tiered landscaped area have been clad in stone, and will soon be ready to be planted. Inside, the next step is to install the lift and laying a stone floor in the foyer.
Work on the New Library site in the last month has focused primarily on the landscaping of the garden, and the installation of panelling and bookcases in the new second floor of the building. The stone walls that form the sides of the zigzag steps and the ramp down to the main entrance have been formed, and stone coping is being added to match the original building, and the College garden team are already planning the planting schedule for this new outdoor space. The joinery on the second floor of the original building has been completed, and is in progress on the first floor. Most excitingly, the central steel column for the new staircase has been installed and it will be completed this month.
The summer has been extremely busy, with work on the exterior of the library now substantially complete. Secondary glazing has been installed to High Street and Longwall windows, reducing traffic noise from the roads, and windows have also been installed in the new extension, which is looking great inside and out. The landscaped garden steps are ready for their stone facing, and the new space is going to make a really interesting new addition to the gardens. The new staircase will be installed in the old building next, along with oak panels which are being installed in the second floor.
July 2015 – ‘Topping Out’
The completion of the roof was celebrated on 22nd July with a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony. Site Manager Paul Grandi presented The President with a beautiful Vibernum which will be planted in the newly landscaped Longwall Quad. Builders then joined College Fellows and Staff for a lunch in Hall to celebrate their work on restoring and redeveloping the library.
The landscaping of the quad has begun, the extension roof lights are close to being finished, and the interior of the original building is being fitted out with bookshelves. Future developments can be tracked on the live webcam.
Externally on the High Street side, the scaffold for the temporary roof is well under way. This has allowed the team to start to map out the repairs at high level and to get a very close look at some of the wonderful carvings that animate the upper string course.
As an important part of the sustainability strategy, the existing roof will be stripped and new thermal and acoustic insulation added. The existing chimneys will be put to a new use for the C21st, namely to be passive air paths for the lower ground ﬂoor bookstore. The ﬁrst sample of the new roof vents has been completed; these new elements will be mounted on the Buckler roof to provide the passive air path for the main reading room. All of this carefully calibrated engineering avoids the need for any energy-hungry, unsightly air-conditioning plant.
The Library furniture has all been removed and salvaged. The demolition of the floor has now begun so that the full volume of the original school will be revealed.
Existing wall fabric has been uncovered behind the bookcases, including bricked-up former fireplaces and rough coursed stone behind panelling. A collection of postcards belonging to a former librarian was discovered, which had slipped behind the panelling.
Cleaning and repair to the internal face to prepare for the new extension that will follow the line of the wall.