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The East Terrace extension has been excavated down to formation level, and trenches below this level have been excavated for the Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP). A blinding layer of concrete has been laid and Cordek polystyrene clay heave void formers laid (when clay dries it shrinks, when wet, it increases in volume or “heaves”. The void former takes up any expansion without cracking the concrete floor slab) ready for the steel reinforcement cages to be set out and the lowest floor slab concrete to be poured. The outer ring of piled walls was completed last year.
The Library extension is several steps ahead, with the two lower basement floor slabs laid and significant progress made on columns and drainage. Treasury staff are currently enduring high levels of structure-borne noise as the new openings from the old basement to the new library extension are being cut through . However, the future layout of this extension is really starting to take shape.
Progress on the Great Hall remains more difficult, as areas become exposed and discoveries challenge the intended design. Nonetheless, the Great Hall floor has been fully stripped up and underfloor heating installed, the Basement Kitchens fully stripped out and waterproofing layers and ceiling void plant is being installed.
We continue to work hard to press forward the works. Next year the new facilities will be offered up and the inconvenience and disruption of the construction phase of works will, I’m sure, fade in memories as the added benefits really start to work for the Inn.
It is still (May 2017) planned that the Great Hall will be handed back to the Inn at the end of October / beginning of November. A period of at least four weeks of testing and training in the new facilities will follow, making a January 2018 return to the Great Hall most likely. In addition, this applies to the Great Hall only - work on the Eastern Terrace and the Library extension will continue beyond that date.
In addition, the grounds will still be undergoing landscaping works which will affect the aesthetics of the entrance and immediate surroundings. We are also conscious of the need to allow some contingency for any delays and ensuring the smooth transfer of the Inn’s events back to the Great Hall. We have therefore reluctantly concluded that the Great Hall should not be available for commercial or private hire until September 2018.
While not visible some work has been completed ( Floor joist alterations and under-floor heating pipework for the Great Hall have been completed) and associated machinery has left the site, The new kitchen drainage has been dug and underpinning to the external southern staircase has been completed.
The space available would not have allowed a gantry design that would fully meet health and safety standards required by the Inn. Access will therefore remain at ground level as it has been since the start of work, with the gate system and builder's banksman to ensure that it is safe for pedestrians to cross. There will be times when the gates are shut when site traffic is passing, but these will be kept to the shortest possible waiting time.
From the Trinity 2016 dining term onwards all dining term dinners and lectures will take place in the Old Hall for the duration of the development works.
This also means new arrangements are in place - please familiarise yourself with the details here
Gatehouse Court has been closed to all vehicular traffic from Close of Business 22 April 2016. The arch under the Old Hall has been barricaded and blanked off. Access from the rest of the Inn to the area, and between Chancery Lane and chambers will be maintained.
Members' Common Room has reopened as Members' Bar
A Members’ Bar is now situated in the Old Court Room.
Open Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 10.30pm
Morning Tea, Coffee & Cakes served from 10:30 am
Light Lunch - Sandwiches & Cold Platters served from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Cakes & Muffins - a selection of cakes & muffins served from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
Supper - Sandwiches & Sharing Platters served from 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm
The Bar - The MCR Bar closes at 10:30 pm