Whilst there is still lots of work to be done in the ground for all of the new museum buildings, this month has seen the beginnings of a building emerge from the dusty site. Following on from the foundations completed last month, the concrete slab forming the base of the whole conservation workshop building has been created. Timber shuttering was built around the perimeter of the building, this was followed by reinforcing mesh before concrete was poured into the template. Once cured, the shuttering was removed to reveal the building’s footprint.
Work in the ground is well underway for the new workshop building. This area has undergone dewatering to enable the contractors to dig below the water table to install drainage and foundations. The process involved inserting a series of well points around the whole area, these were then attached to pumps which extract and filter the water.
Following the on-land groundworks, Thomas Armstrong have been working in the water completing the installation of sheet piling to form a new lake edge. The sheet piling stretches from the boatyard area where the slipway will be located, all the way to the historic dock wall edge. The areas of sheet piling will form some of the structure needed to support the new boathouse, this will be longer than the old building and is a portal frame design creating the maximum roof height for boats on display in the water.
Groundworks continue to change the profile of the site with the layout for the new buildings taking shape every day. Thomas Armstrong have made good progress reducing the ground levels for the conservation workshop and boatyard area and will soon be starting the drainage installation ahead of the foundations for the building.
Following the official start on site in November, Thomas Armstrong have prepared the site and begun the groundworks forming the basis of the new museum buildings. One of the first tasks has been to build up the ground level to the main buildings. As part of the flood defence strategy, the museum will be built on a plinth to raise it above the historic flood levels. The need for this was demonstrated earlier this month when much of Cumbria was affected by heavy rainfall and flooding. Although the site flooded, fortunately the lake level dropped quickly and work was able to carry on.