The transformation of Derry’s Guildhall will be “immense” when completed, an engineer overseeing the project has said.
Work on the first phase of the restoration of the city’s landmark building is on schedule despite problems caused by severe weather conditions in December.
John Kelpie, City Engineer with Derry City Council, said: “The restoration works are beginning to take shape and the transformation will be immense. We are looking forward to the scaffolding being removed from Whittaker Street towards the end of March 2011 when we will first see this elevation being restored to its former glory.”
He said that public access may be restricted at times, but staff would endeavour to keep inconvenience to a minimum.
Kevin Sage, Project Manager with main contractor H&J Martin, explained details of the overhaul which began last August. “The project will involve the restoration of the stonework, roof, windows and stained glass of the iconic building, as well as the restoration of the Guildhall Clock. As part of the project, work to create new steps and a ramp are to take place at the entrance off Guildhall Square.” Specialised stained and cathedral glass work is at an advanced stage.
The Guildhall clock and clock tower are temporarily out of view, to ensure that the city’s main timepiece does not get damaged while work is taking place.