Mid June Construction Blog
Into June selective demolition at King Edward School continued, pulling away layers of old mechanical, electrical, structural and architectural elements that are slated for renewal. From opening up walls and removing debris, time was also spent collecting an inventory of heritage fabric for later reuse and restoration.
Interior demolition included a start to dismantling of brick surrounding the historic boiler heat returns and huge fan unit. These areas will be repurposed for new ventilation systems and elevator that will make this facility comfortable and accessibility to all.
For the first time, good views into places obscured from view was enabled as walls came down and brick was piled high. Seeing banks of old radiators in the fan room sparked our interest into how these elements could be reused. Like the boilers that will rest in peace in a new location, these radiators may provide a design opportunity as an exterior feature on the site.
New openings between rooms were also marked out and enlarged cavities for upgraded attic stairs provided interesting images that captured the quality of a definite work-in-progress.
Power and water have now been disconnected and one of the last external remnants of the 1960s school building began its removal. Housing a 1960s boiler and mechanical space with an infirmary, the addition was removed first by hand, brick by brick, close to the sandstone facade prior to demolition by excavator with the 1912 coal room to follow.
With projects of this vintage one plans for the future and is motivated by a vision to bring life back. Yet inevitably one cannot escape encountering the past. From remnants of newspapers and notes inscribed into walls, we are also left with mementos like asbestos and lead paint that recall past practices and how in coming to innovation, we may start with learning from our mistakes.