The new Carnival Hub in Wokingham reached a major milestone last week after a topping out ceremony was held to mark the completion of the highest construction point of this ambitious project.
Work is progressing well on the Carnival Hub, the new facility which will be home to a sports and cultural centre. New facilities include swimming pools, a spa, fitness studios, a café, a dual-purpose hall for sports and 400 seat cultural performances and a new large library.
The shell of the facility is nearly complete with final cladding being installed this month, and the roof and external walls fitted. The priority for the next few months will be the inside of the hub. Contractors Pellikaan will be focusing on completing the internal walls and rendering, constructing the pool deck before tiling work starts. Most of the larger plant and equipment have already been installed. The internal services, such as heating, ventilation, pools tanks and filtration systems are also in progress.
The new hub is set to open its doors next summer.
And construction work on the residential properties which will also be located on the site of the former Carnival Pool and Leisure Centre is due to start imminently. Contractors Mid Group took control of the site this week and are in the process of setting up the site.
Planning permission was granted back in March 2020 for 55 new apartments (one or two bedroom) which will be situated alongside the new pedestrianised promenade linking the site through to Elms Field and the town centre, and creates an improved pedestrian access route to Super Bowl and the Carnival car park.
Contractors will be using modern methods of construction which will see the residential structures built off site but in place on site by February 2022. This type of construction delivers a robust traditional style construction with the speed of a modular build, with a fast weather tight build which allows for early access for follow on trades. It has the speed of a module build bringing significant benefits to the environment it also has the added benefit of reducing the workforce onsite thus helping the contractors to ensure they can protect their workers from Covid.
The original designs were revised in 2020 in response to resident feedback and to make the building even more energy efficient as an outcome of to the council’s ambition to be net carbon zero by 2030. The council will continue to work with the contractor and design team to maximise decarbonisation opportunities It is anticipated these properties will be ready by September 2022 and are the final piece of the Wokingham town centre regeneration project.
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “The Carnival Hub is going to be a fantastic community facility and this is an exciting milestone in the project. The new hub demonstrates the significant investment we are making to ensure our borough is a great place to live, learn, work and grow, and do business.”
Cllr Bill Soane, executive member for neighbourhood and communities, said: “We’ve been planning and preparing for this project for many years and its great to see the progress that has been made in recent months at the Carnival Hub. As well as a leisure centre, the hub will become the home of Wokingham Library too. I’m sure it will continue to be a place that our residents love to visit and will serve the local community for years to come.”
Gert-Jan Peeters, director of Pellikaan Construction Ltd, said: “It is great to see the progress on site and to be able to celebrate the topping out ceremony. We are now concentrating on completing the interior works, technically as well as providing the finishes that will make this a great leisure centre and library to enjoy for the people in Wokingham Borough.”
David Merrills, operations director of Mid-Group Ltd, said: “As our first project with Wokingham Borough Council it was an honour to welcome the councillors and team to commence the construction works, by breaking the first piece of ground together. Mid Group have now commenced the foundations and drainage for the project and in the coming months we will be bringing the offsite manufacture building to Wokingham"
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