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Development Blog: Watertight and Secure

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

15 March 2019

WELL, despite the heavy rain of the last week, if you have visited the Theatre of Greens, or viewed the hundreds of pics available across pafc.co.uk, the prodigious Greens on Screen, or the Herald – our local paper – you will know that progress has continued apace.

The new changing room suite is now watertight and secure, and internal walls are now up - with the first fit of plumbing and electrics being installed as I type.

Our brand-new stand – the lower tier of the Mayflower Grandstand – now sees the majority of its new superstructure in place. Hundreds of tonnes of steel have taken the form of what are known as lateral rakers. These steels will take the concrete pre-cast terraces laid horizontally across them, in a very similar fashion to how we constructed the other three stands several years ago.

Next week will see even more visible signs of progress – the steels for the new roof of the Grandstand will start to go up. We are already seeing the start of the installation of the upper-tier seating, with the bespoke-to-Home Park seat frames now being put into place.

Once this is done, over and above the contracted project scope, we have just agreed to procure a rather expensive but very effective new water-proofing system that will be applied to the first few rows of the upper-tier, and to fit an angled translucent side to the Devonport End of the Grandstand, to better protect both stands and the people sitting within them.

We are also now seeing the mammoth new steelwork going in that will form the rear two-storey Grandstand extension, and for the supporting columns of the entire building. You may remember, from what I have said previously, that we are replacing the old columns, and halving the amount that Leitch junior put in, which will open up the space really well.

Work on the post-construction fit-out and use of our fantastic new facilities is now taking up a lot of day-job time for all of the club management. Of course, one of the big recent developments is the launch of the new Home Park website, which occurred very recently.

Speaking as a fan, how exciting is our top-end Pioneers package? In my view, it is by far the classiest offering that Argyle has ever made. The other levels of the all-new Club Argyle will be detailed shortly – and I can say with absolute confidence that the same level of thought and detail has been applied to everything. Just wonderful.

Another thing that we are looking at is the possibility of offering a very limited number of construction tours as soon as the site is safe enough to accommodate such a thing. If we are able to do this, we will of course ensure that every single one of our new Pioneers will receive a complimentary invite! Keep watching this space…

Of course, this huge investment into our club is not just about the hospitality areas, and there is also a lot of work going on to improve what’s on offer for every single member of the Green Army. We have set up separate internal working groups that examine areas like outside spaces, and every component of the match-day experience, to improve things for everyone.

Project timescales are still positive – to the day, we are still on programme as revised in, what seems a lifetime ago, the summer of 2018. Similarly, our new supporters’ bar is coming along equally well. Incidentally, we have had great feedback from the local authorities about the way that Steve is managing the site on behalf of the Green Taverners – great work all.

So, that is it for this week – here is hoping for a return of the sun as we approach the first day of Spring!

Cheers all – Keep it Green.

JB

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