Sandhurst’s Old College is where cadets are taught to become army officers. The 200-year-old building also houses a museum, featuring gifts from foreign dignitaries and priceless artefacts.
Interserve’s contract for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is scheduled for completion in May 2016, and was awarded to PriDE, a joint venture between Interserve and Scottish & Southern Energy Contracting.
The renovation project, which is being carried out while the building remains occupied, involves the replacement of roof slates and the removal of around 3,000 square metres of asbestos from roof voids. It also involves the deconstruction and rebuilding of 58 chimneys, which requires the use of 1,700 tonnes of scaffolding which would reach 3,200 kilometres if laid end to end.
Passing out parades – attended by members of the Royal Family – for officers who have completed their training are being held in front of the building while the project is underway. For these occasions, to conceal the unsightly scaffolding, a specialist fabric façade has been placed over the building, over-printed with a life-size image of how it will look when work is completed.
Interserve site manager Owen Bax said: “The volume and the complexity of scaffolding required on this scheme are quite a challenge. So too is the necessity to protect as carefully as possible this historic building and its contents, which are part of Britain’s cultural heritage. Throughout the renovation process, we are safeguarding priceless memorabilia, including those located in the building’s ‘India Room’, and shielding unique stained glass windows from damage. This project really is one of a kind.”
DIO project manager Peter Lillywhite said: “This is a unique building, so this project poses unique challenges - as well as the requirement to maintain operations while the work is done. We will be working closely with our army customers, PriDE and Interserve to ensure this important work is finished to the high standards this historic landmark deserves.”