Work begins on new District Council HQ

The new £16.5million headquarters project for Huntingdonshire District Council reached a landmark this week as demolition of part of the current building, Pathfinder House in Huntingdon, began. The old county road sign was taken down for safe keeping befo

The new £16.5million headquarters project for Huntingdonshire District Council reached a landmark this week as demolition of part of the current building, Pathfinder House in Huntingdon, began. The old county road sign was taken down for safe keeping before huge hydraulic machines, including the one in the background, began gobbling chunks of the south wing of the building. Staff will continue to work in the remaining two wings until the first of three new blocks is complete. The whole project, which currently on schedule, is due for completion in March 2010.

The council's deputy leader, Councillor Mike Simpson, left, chairman, Councillor Phillip Swales, centre, and leader, Councillor Ian Bates, posed with the old county sign before Bob Tattrie, managing director of developments for contractors Alfred McAlpine, foreground, took it into storage.

The demolition process is expected to take six weeks and, for safety reasons, while this element of the work is under way, one lane of the ring road may have to be closed for a short period outside of the morning and evening rush hour alongside Pathfinder House, the council said yesterday.

Cllr Swales said Pathfinder House, which the council has occupied since 1977, was "cramped, unventilated and just not up to the job of housing a 21st century local authority" (it is also crumbling structurally and has been encased in scaffolding for years). Few would mourn its loss, he added.


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"I am confident that Alfred McAlpine will work to minimise the impact of this three-year project, not only on the council's staff but also our neighbours in St Mary's Street.

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