THE newest additions to Huddersfield’s Skyline are giving the town’s construction industry a lift.
The two massive cranes currently dominating the future site of the Kirklees College “Vision” campus on Manchester Road may not be difficult to miss, but the incredible logistics behind them also deserves to be seen.
The big brother of the two on the £58m site is the 50m wk180b Luffing Jib Crane which is situated closest to Chapel Hill.
Weighing around 36 tonnes excluding its counterbalance it can lift a load of more than 12 tonnes.
Allenbuild construction manager Daryl Jackson is in charge of the site, which will be abuzz with activity for two years until July, 2012.
He said: “We started in November last year which involved the demolition of the existing council buildings that were here. The first crane was up about two weeks ago and the second was put together last weekend.
“They come in sections. Look closely and you can see that they are bolted together in several parts before the drivers cabin and the jib is attached.”
And what do you need to construct a crane? Another crane of course, but a mobile version which can set the base in the vital foundations.
Mr Jackson said: “A reinforced cage is created, the lowest section of the crane is put in that and the concrete is poured in around it. “The foundations of the smaller one were eight metres of reinforced concrete.”
The project is funded by the Learning and Skills Council and will relocate the college’s Huddersfield facilities on to a single site.
The three linked blocks will consist of a four storey construction and engineering block, which forms the western block and is linked to the seven storey central block, consisting of an atrium, restaurant, bistro, refectory and classrooms. This is in turn is linked to the nine storey eastern block, which will house foundation, hair & beauty, science and administration areas.
Daryl added: “It’s the biggest job I’ve been involved in and we have various managers and sub contractors.It’s a massive team and many of us are back at Allenbuild’s head office making sure we’re on target.
“For our purposes here there’s a very detailed schedule up in the office that we can check and make sure all the projects are up and running at the right times.
“There are around 70 people on site and I think at its peak there will probably be around 300 working here in about one years time.
“At that point the frame will be up, it will be all be cladded.
“It looks pretty busy now, but in one year there will be work going on every floor and it will be buzzing.”