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The sky’s the limit

The appearance of the Project 150 site changes daily as work forges ahead on the construction of this £33 million transformational development. One of the most striking changes to the site was the recent arrival of a giant tower crane.

The yellow giant stands 30 metres high (under the hook) and has a jib of 56 metres. It is standing on a 250 tonne concrete base approximately where the old swimming pool was located. The crane can lift a maximum of 12 tonnes and around 6 tonnes at the tip of the jib.

The crane will be in place for over a year and the building will be constructed around it leaving space for it to sway within the structure.

When not in active use the crane will ‘free slew’ to protect it from wind damage. This means that the jib will move freely to align itself with the prevailing wind direction. A ‘light-box’, which has been affixed to the short end of the jib, proudly announces the 150th anniversary of the College.

The assembly of the crane was a fascinating process to observe for pupils, staff and local residents – see images below. The services of a 330 tonne monster mobile crane was required to lift the pieces into place and VINCI reports that an even bigger mobile will be needed to lift it out once the building nears completion!