December update

You will all be aware of the works going on in front of the College Library and will recall that these are part of a larger process incorporating the review and development of the Domus landscaping as a whole. The design concept in this area is the creation of a sequence of ‘study gardens’ incorporating the Library Garden, East Lodge Garden and the Rose Garden.

The noisiest and most disruptive phase of the works, the breakup and removal of the existing roadway, is now complete and the concrete base slab is now in place. This was not without  challenges as the excavation exposed the foundations of the old College stables and then the concrete slab had to be poured and formed smoothly and evenly despite the fact the one end of the site sloped uphill!

Whilst the early stages of the project have progresses exactly to schedule it is anticipated that a short extension will be required beyond the end date originally envisaged. This is for two main reasons. One reason is that the original project scope has been changed since the works began. The paved areas outside the Library and along the pathway behind O staircase will now be supplemented with an additional area extending out to the site recently occupied by the sundial. This will provide a benched seating area. Secondly, the original stone slabs, when delivered, were found to have machining defects which meant that they were effectively parallelograms rather than rectangles. Although the challenge of creating a close-fitting surface with the new shapes would have been an intriguing one, it was felt that it would be more appropriate to return the stone for reworking by the supplier.

Together, these two are estimated to push the completion date from mid-January to around the 3rd February 2017. This is, naturally, dependent on weather conditions but, if recent years are a guide, this finish date is considered achievable.

Published 9 December 2016.