The builders working on site are doing a fantastic job and its worth just recognizing that they are working in really tricky conditions and appreciating how jolly and friendly they always are. During the cold weather it has felt as if the inside of the LSI is significantly colder than everywhere else but due to constraints of the site there is no warm and cosy site office for coffee and lunch times. The builders have to use what ever space is available (currently the landing) and heat comes from small freestanding electric heaters – its freezing in there!
The hallowed flexi bucket has been the tool of choice during the excavations – tonnes and tonnes of mud, clay and rubble have been removed by hand from the basement and out of the building through a small window opening – a feat of patience and endurance!
There is a real sense that everyone working on site is very proud of their work, they really care and appreciate just how important the LSI is as an historic building. Its incredibly exciting to see work progressing and reassuring to know that the building is in really good hands.
Things are moving at a pace now and slowly the building seems to be coming back together after some really, really BIG repair work.
In the basement the rear building floor has been excavated and new drainage laid to deal with the perpetual damp and flooding. Just in the last few weeks there has been mud, followed by gravel and now there is a screed.
The drainage pipes to deal with all the water are huge!
At the front of the building the ugly ramp has gone and the original stone and basement windows have been exposed – this really opens up the building and will allow natural light into the basement to make the rooms usable. A platform lift will be installed over the small steps at the top of the ramp going down to the basement to allow access for all and the original steps up to the front door and railings along the front will be reinstated – its going to look great and will start to make visual sense with the building next door once again.
On the roof the front parapet has now been rebuilt and there are lovely new (and very stable!) chimneys that are crucial for natural ventilation in the building.
The flat roof behind the parapet is being constructed and all the massive structural steels are now in place. I think we can all be sure that this building is still going to be standing many hundreds of years into the future.