As always happens with historic buildings, more problems were uncovered as the work progressed. In the roof void above the main auditorium we discovered that the support bars holding up the suspended ceiling over the dance floor were not all secured into the masonry. Every one of the 430+ bars had to be fixed in place with a metal attachment forged at Bute Blacksmiths. Above the stage more asbestos was discovered, necessitating a return visit from the specialist asbestos removal company and a two-week delay. Eventually the work was completed in October 2016 and the Pavilion was handed back to Argyll and Bute Council for the winter.
We are also conducting 'hard hat' tours of the building site on a regular basis throughout the project. Please contact Ann Russell on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take part in one.
May to December 2016
With the Pavilion finally empty and asbestos cleared we were able to enter the first phase of ‘enabling’ works. Dunoon based firm, John Brown (Strone) Ltd. won the contract and started on site in early summer 2016. This phase entailed making the building safe, installing protection for historic features, carrying out more surveys – this time to the concrete and cast stone, and fire boarding the ceilings throughout.
While the building has been standing dormant masses of work is happening behind the scenes to prepare for the next stage of works – the main building contract. The Design Team and the council have put together an extensive brief for the tendering process, which starts in late January. Once the tenders have been returned and evaluated we will be able to award the main contract and hope to see works starting on site again in June 2017 for a November 2018 completion.
In the meantime, Rothesay Pavilion charity has appointed a new Engagement Officer – Ann Russell - and Administrator – Laura Edwards - who joined me in our temporary project office in Bute Fabrics. Over the coming months Ann will be coordinating on a number of arts and heritage activities and mini-projects leading up to the Pavilion’s reopening. We’ll be reporting on our activities here and on our Facebook page and also sharing news about opportunities for you to get involved.