The “handover” procedure for a £4million pound building project was very low key. We had invited the Design Team and our Board of Trustees but the contractor was in charge. The Site Manager and the Contracts Manager gave us a room by room tour of the Enterprise Centre and we also visited one of the Work Spaces.
Those who hadn’t been to the site recently were very impressed with the image the business park conveyed. The very high standard of work that had started the project had continued down to the last nail in the last piece of cladding to be fixed to the buildings.
We were then given a single piece of paper called a Certificate of Practical Completion and a huge bunch of keys – that’s it it was all ours. No drum role, no fly past, no champagne – after over 5 years of planning and building it was all a bit… hmm what do we do now time.
Of course we couldn’t actually move in and start work that would be too easy. Essensys who were providing our telephones and IT needed Virgin to provide a data cable and Virgin needed our council to grant them permission to lay a cable over the council’s land and the officer at the council couldn’t see why the council should grant permission……
That was on the Friday, over the weekend I avoided visiting the buildings since I knew if I started down that slippery slope I would be worrying about them all the time like a mother hen with chicks, I might as well knit them a jumper each.
So Monday morning I found an excuse to go to the business park. Turning the corner of the access road the first thing I saw was a very large fire engine. To say my heart sank would not be an exaggeration. I ran into the lobby and then up the stairs to find a dozen firefighters strolling down the corridor. I very nervously asked what the problem was – “oh no problem, we heard that there was a very large straw bale building on our patch and that is was open for business so we wanted to acquaint ourselves with it”. I counted to ten, took a deep breath and relaxed. I then led the firefighters on a very leisurely tour of the buildings and facilities and the usual FAQ’s relating to a straw bale construction.
Tenants have started moving in, we’ve cut the grass, sorted the keys and had our first false alarm on a smoke detector – it’s beginning to be a real business centre.