At last! After weeks of remote meets, extensive heath checks, and ticking all the necessary boxes, our contractor is back onsite Tuesday 26 May.
The site team is restricted to six, who have all received training in safety measures, while anyone else’s site visits will be minimal.
Everyone is travelling off-peak, individually, observing distancing onsite and using all the right personal gear.
One major gain before lockdown was installation of our energy-efficient and low-carbon heat, cool and ventilating set-up. It’s there now, on the roof, where it was put together from all its components – too heavy to go up in one piece.
Now we’ve got a new schedule to pace the work while we get going as smoothly as we possibly can. That means we can now move back into the museum space.
Before lockdown, the old museum roof was leaking, held together with sticky tape. That’s been sorted out – we ordered new rooflights, double glazed, with ultra-violet light protection to look after everything we might put into our future display cases.
The new schedule means we can put the lid back on the museum, and finish the roof renewal pretty soon. Then we clean the bricks, strike the scaffold, sort out the ceiling, hit the studwork, finish the flooring, and decorate.
Right now, there’s also a lot more planning to do, and the offsite team has been hard at it too, working out what to do when and where, and how to navigate the service and supply chain, not least with our staircase experts – who have to fly in from Belgium as soon as that’s feasible and safe.
Alongside all the nitty-gritty of materials and works management, they have also been tackling tricky issues of heritage, keeping the historians happy as they sort out the most secure, visually pleasing and practical way to welcome everyone into our Hall – redesigning the all-important entrance beneath our Elizabethan arch.
Best of all, we’re home again, back to work, hauling our Hall towards completion.