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Development Blog: Concrete and Play

JON BACK'S Latest Update on the State of Home Park

26 April 2019

HI everyone – while every single one of us is focused on getting behind Derek and the lads in this last, crucial, week and a bit, I though it timely to give you an update on how the redevelopment of Home Park is going.

In summary, we are still doing pretty well.

You will have all seen how impressive the Mayflower Grandstand is now looking, with the majority of the new roof structure in place. With the extra height that it gives, the old gal is going to look even more commanding than she did do before. I have stood at the back, looking towards the pitch, and the elevated front lip of the roof gives an even better, far less claustrophobic, view – it is going to be amazing when finished.

Since I last wrote, we have hit a couple of small snags – the very sort of thing that we predicted comes with such a complex programme of works on such an old building – but our construction partners GLe UK have scratched their heads, come up with ingenious solutions, and are now pressing on.

As such, we are still looking at taking full possession in the fourth quarter of this year, and are all striving to get you into this wonderful old-but-new building before Christmas.

In addition to this, our all-new players’ facility is now nearing completion. Everything is now largely in place, with just the full, Argyle-bespoke fit-out of the actual dressing-rooms to go.  It will be ready, spic and span for when the lads come back for pre-season in June. 

The great presence that is our new supporters’ bar sits proudly behind the changing-rooms, and now that the green cladding and grey windows are in place, you can get a real feel for how classy the South side of Home Park will look next year. I genuinely love how well the colours complement each other.

Our great friends the GTs are doing a fantastic job in both funding and constructing this building for all of us, and I cannot wait for opening night which unfortunately has been pushed back slightly into July because of a supply issue from one of the sub-contractors.  Even with the magic and contacts that the GTs have, they, too, are sometimes at the mercy of others delivering on time.

Within the management team at Home Park, we are now starting to see the post-construction fit-out take an increasing priority, and some of the ideas being explored are really exciting.

We had an internal tasting event of some of the new food ideas at which we are looking at a couple of weeks ago, and while I should not give away any spoilers, I can say for certain that the range and quality of what we will be offering will be top-drawer. Interesting, innovative and delicious – congrats to chef Chris and his team for helping us push forward.

Looking ahead, what can we look forward to seeing over the next few weeks?  ‘A lot’ is the answer. Next week sees another milestone, with the huge concrete lintels that will form the new, lower Mayflower stand terracing (on to which the seats will be bolted) arriving, and we should see installation commence very quickly thereafter.

The substantial steel frame of the rear extension will also be completed in the near future, after which the old internal columns will be removed, leaving the grandstand sitting on GLe’s new frame. Here is to computer modelling, chaps!

Going back to the roof, although the main structure is now largely in place, there are just the gable ends to finish, and then a lot of tweaking to do before we see the cladding start to be affixed...Personally, I cannot wait to see the green start to appear, but like all of us, I must wait.

So, that is all for now – as ever, my standard valediction is ‘Keep it Green’, but, looking to the next two games, I mean it more than ever. 

We need you – we need each other.  We ARE Argyle and together, we WILL prevail.

JB


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