11:41am Friday 14th March 2014
By Nick Jackson
WORK to transform All Souls Church into a space age community centre has reached its halfway point.
Contractors leading the £4.9 million redevelopment have begun moving the innovative “pods”, which form part of “a building within a building” into position.
Plastic sheeting surrounding the building in Astley Street, Bolton, has made the grade II listed structure temporarily look like something from a sci-fi movie.
The project is being paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the building work is being led by Walter Carefoot and Sons, supported by conservation and restoration specialists Lambert Walker.
Work is on schedule to finish for August, with the official opening what will be Crompton Community Centre due for the autumn.
Lead architect Nick Berry confirmed the project was half complete.
He said: “The primary structure for the All Souls’ pods is a composite steel structural insulated panels (SIP) system.
“It was chosen because it is an incredibly space efficient construction providing both the structural stability and the insulated envelope of the building in one package.”
He added that a lot of work had been going on underground to form the foundations for the pods.
Mr Berry said: “The milestone of erecting the structure in the church has now begun and once the initial framework of slender steel columns and beams is complete, the SIP panels will then be inserted giving the pods their sculptural form.
“The sense of scale of these pods within the church is starting to emerge, and in the next few weeks the exciting vision of futuristic structures in an historic church will become a reality.”
Meanwhile, the Crompton Community Centre group have organised an open day on Saturday, April 26, when the public will be invited in see the progress of the work.
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