Surgo Construction Ltd (Surgo), one of the UK’s leading building contractors, has begun work on the £3.8 million redevelopment and refurbishment of Newcastle University’s Hatton Gallery.
The Grade II listed gallery forms part of the University’s Fine Art department and is home to the iconic Merz Barn Wall by Kurt Schwitters. It is set to reopen in September next year.
Surgo was appointed after a competitive tender and interview process. Their brief is to refurbish the galleries, carry out internal area modifications and upgrades, renovate listed roof lights, install steelwork to carry new mechanical equipment, undertake some re-roofing works and create new meeting rooms and seminar areas.
The work will be carried out in two phases – the first continuing until the end of October with phase two due to end mid February 2017.
There will be some challenges ahead for Surgo’s team given that the Hatton Gallery is located within a tight site where only a small area for deliveries exists, which is further complicated by the need for shared access with another building contractor working on an adjacent site.
Added to this, the Hatton is located on the delivery route to the Old Library Cafe, a building which is still ‘live’ from the basement up meaning existing services such as fire alarms and building services installations have to be maintained.
Surgo director, Jeff Alexander, said: “We are delighted to be appointed to another Newcastle University project where we have successfully completed a number of projects. Our knowledge of working on ‘live’ tight sites, our listed building expertise and supply chain network combined to make us well qualified for our appointment to the Hatton Gallery.
“Parts of the building are listed so there is a requirement for us to work with a conservation officer as well as with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums in relation to the priceless and iconic Merz Barn Wall by Kurt Schwitters.”