Saturday, December 31, 2011

The furniture begins to arrive

Progress continues at New. It has been encouraging to see lots of the rooms taking shape. Some are now receiving their joinery. The first batch of shelves arrived yesterday and units will be arriving daily for some time. Level 3 has progressed most with all services in place for the rooms, carpet well advanced and painting and fit-out commenced. Levels 1 & 2 are a little behind the 3rd floor, but all rooms are stripped, rendering completed where needed and services under way.

The joinery begins to arrive for bedrooms
The first pieces of joinery are going in (new shelves)
Services in place and carpet on the way on level 2

Painting the ceilings on level 3

Progress continues to be good in the courtyard. The skylights are all removed and the rest of the courtyard around them will be stripped soon as well as the concrete infills completed. The challenge with this work is to ensure that no water penetrates, so the stripping of the tiles is a progressive affair with covering (hence the frames) at the end of each day to keep water out.

The skylights have gone!

Progressive clearing of the courtyard.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Refurbishment is well underway

The refurbishment of New College is well underway.  After 42 years we are renovating all the original rooms and all courtyards. In the process we will transform the central courtyard into an indoor/outdoor space complete with:

New Games Room
New Lounge
Shared kitchen for residents to do some cooking for themselves
A new bridge on the 3rd floor to connect east and west and provide another recreation space
A glass and polycarbonate 'detached' roof over the courtyard
5 new studio apartments for visiting scholars on the ground floor
A new central stairway connecting the dining room to the courtyard and its new facilities

Work is due for completion before O'Week. Progress over the first four weeks has been rapid. The following are just some of the highlights.

1. All rooms have now had all soft and hard demolition work completed. This involves removal of wardrobes, shelves, electrical fittings, carpet, brick columns (the ones that made it hard to position beds) widening of the wardrobe cavity etc. As well, all common rooms have been stripped and enlarged in some cases (with removal of 'dog boxes' and some courtyard rooms).

An enlarged common room

2. The critical demolition of the skylights and courtyard surface is well underway. This requires scaffolding from underneath, infilling of the cavities and eventually resurfacing of the whole courtyard.

Scaffolding from the Dining room allows rubble to be extracted from above 

3. The erection of the crane on the the 20th December has helped to speed things along.

4. Fit out of Level 3 rooms has commenced, with electrical services, plumbing, fire services and carpeting commencing.

A new sprinkler system raises fire safety to the highest level

5. The Senior RA flat and guest room have gone and services for the new studios for visiting scholars commenced.

All in all, excellent progress has been made in spite of Sydney's wet weather. Many workers will be on site between Christmas and New Year. I hope to do new posts every week to keep everyone informed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The pack up begins!

The much needed renovation of New College began on the 21st November. The plan is to renovate every bedroom, create 4 new larger common rooms on each floor and add many new features to the courtyard. In the process, we plan to solve the problem of our leaking building once and for all.
Residents of New College had to vacate no later than the 16th November to allow the refurbishment to begin. There was much to do.

1. Returning residents needed to pack up their things in boxes to be stored in one of the few spots not being touched (the Main Common Room).

The emerging tower of mattresses and resident belongings

2. Old desks (including 60 indestructible 'Bob' desks), beside tables, common room furniture and much more had to be given away (to vacating residents), recycled, sold for scrap metal or discarded.

At least the metal in the 'Bob' desks was useful!

3. Rooms emptied and beds removed from the building for storage (after all wooden slats were screwed on)

4. We had to take a photographic record of the back of all those old wardrobe doors!

Can you pick the room?

With an army of workers led by Dick Kay all residents and staff vacated the building  by Saturday 19th November. Dick and the other maintenance and cleaning staff survived the ordeal.

New College staff is now in temporary quarters in the New College Village. Most are in an apartment on Level 2 and I'm in a studio a few doors down the corridor. Cosy, but nice.  The Gooleys moved to an apartment at Bronte for a few weeks but are now on holidays. They may need to stay in an NCV apartment when they return.