Over 420 tonnes of steel, held together by more than 40,000 nuts and bolts are being manoeuvred into place to build Halifax’s new Central Library and Archive.
The steel framework is emerging out of the site adjacent to the Piece Hall as the construction project reaches its next major milestone.
It will take up to five weeks to build the steel framework and install the concrete floor planks and stairs to create each of the four floors.
Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift said:
“This is an exciting stage in the development as we begin to see the new building take shape. A lot of the work which has been done on the site to date has not been visible to the public as much of it was below ground to prepare the new West Yorkshire Archives facility.
“We’ll very quickly begin to see the outline of the new building, how it will complement the Piece Hall and provide a striking façade from the roadside.”
Gary Hughes, regional director for lead contractor GRAHAM Construction, said:
“The erection of steelwork is a milestone for the project and we are now starting to see the transformation becoming a reality.
“Our site teams and supply chain are working diligently to deliver a first-class facility for the people of Halifax and this is a major step forward in that process.”
Construction of the new West Yorkshire Archives in the basement of the building is well underway. The reinforced concrete walls have extensive damp proofing to ensure that the Archive has a carefully controlled climate to protect and preserve the collection of historic documents and artefacts.
Local studies will be on the lower ground of the new library, adjacent to the West Yorkshire Archives. At ground level there will be a reception area, the children’s library and the Visitor Information Centre. The first floor will accommodate adult fiction and an area for 13 to 16 year olds, alongside a digital media area. The second floor will hold the adult non-fiction collections, areas for quiet study, and an IT section for use by individuals or groups.
The new Central Library and Archive building will be a blend of the old and new, incorporating the Grade II* Listed Square Church Spire and the remains of the Square Church, including the rose window, into the new building.
The Square Church opened in 1857, but was largely destroyed by fire in 1971 and demolished in 1976.
The new Central Library and Archive is being wholly funded by the Council. Find out more at New Central Library and Archive.
The Piece Hall transformation project is funded by Calderdale Council with a generous £7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund making this heritage regeneration achievable. The Council is also very grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation who are supporting the scheme.
To find out more about the Piece Hall transformation project visit www.thepiecehall.co.uk(external link) or follow @ThePieceHall on Twitter or The Piece Hall Halifax on Facebook.