Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The start of a new building on the island

We have just started one of the most ambitious projects the island has seen for many years. The work has started on building a new visitor centre. For those that haven't been to the island the exisiting visitor centre is really a large shed originally built as accommadation for mosue researchers and only meant to be used for a few years. Over 40 years later it is starting to show signs of wear and does really function as we would like. As befits one of the best wildlife spectacles in Scotland we think that it is time for a new building that
 - gives people information about how to make the best of their visit,
 - provides more accessible toilets (and more of them) 
-  gives visitors information that they cane take home with them about the island and its wildlife,
 - provides some shelter in the worst of the weather, 

But the challenge is getting this building up. Firstly there are the logisitcs of getting hundreds of tons of material and equipment to and from an island 6 miles out in the North Sea with a jetty only accessible at the top of the tide. Then the building works has to be fitted around the wildlife. And finally there is the weather to contend with. KDM construction have taken on this challenge and their site spuervisor Gordon said to me that normally he is used to parking up a lorry right next to where you want to build your structure so this is a bit different. We wil keep you posted on progress but at the moment the first stage of operatiosn is under way, getting materials out to the ialand and starting the foundations.
And a problem of the future is what to call the building. It isn't really a visitor centre as we don't want visitors to spend that much time in it, we would rather they spent the time around the island. Other suggestions include a visitr hub? or an orientation centre but neither of those sound too good. Maybe it will keep the name of the building that is has replaced - the tractor shed? Which used to be known as the coal shed. Anyway we are happy to hear of another suggestions if you have them.
The old tractor shed, hopefully the new building will look better than this!

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