Page 11 - RVC4Life - May 2020
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Progress on the Hawkshead Campus development, the most ambitious in the RVC’s history, has faced mounting challenges of a wet and windy winter and a disruptive pandemic; but with the building taking shape, optimism is in the air.
Dr Jo Payne, Operational Interface Manager
The Meteorological Office in the UK was established in 1854 as a small department within the Board of Trade
as a service to British shipping. The advent of the electric telegraph enabled rapid dissemination of warnings and in 1861 the Met Office started to provide weather forecasts to newspapers; by 1884 they were recording nationwide data on temperatures, rainfall and all manner of other weather facts.
So why am I telling you this? In October 2019, RG Carter commenced work on the most ambitious capital construction project in the RVC’s history. Unfortunately, this also coincided with one of the wettest autumn and winter periods since those records began. In the preceding 135 years, there had only been four occasions when more rain fell on Hawkshead.
Despite working conditions that often resembled a battlefield from the Great War, the valiant contractors successfully installed more than 400 support piles, literally laying the foundations for the building to come.
By February, we were ready to construct the tower crane – a vital piece of equipment which would support the movement of materials throughout the project. But, Storms Ciara and Dennis had other ideas. As England experienced its windiest month in 30 years, week after week passed as we waited for a break in the weather.
data supplies from under the construction site.
We know there will be further challenges ahead – but dealing with the unexpected is what project management is all about. With the building now really starting to take shape, we are hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.
As former Prime Minister Harold Wilson said, “I am an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat”.
Further updates to the campus development will be included in our Autumn edition of Eclipse.
We finally got to celebrate the installation of the crane on the 3rd of March, but it was a short-lived triumph. Two days later the UK recorded its first fatality from a previously unknown Coronavirus strain, and everything changed. We began depopulating the College on the 16th and by the 27th all construction had been halted.
But the story doesn’t end there. Following modifications to site operations protocols, to enable social distancing, Carters were able to restart work on the 20th of April and now are well on the way with the ground level slab and columns which will support the first floor.
Along with the main construction, we have successfully completed two dozen separate enabling projects including the demolition of half the Clinical Block, the creation of a brand-new teaching lab, an upgraded site power supply and the rerouting of all gas, water, electrical and
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