The Hydro’s main structure completed
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Wed 31 Oct 12 @ 11:51
(L-R): Gordon Matheson, Leader, Glasgow City Council; John Sharkey, Chief Executive, SECC; Gordon Anderson, Executive General Manager, Lend Lease; Sir Ian Grant, Chairman, SECC and John McLaughlan, Apprentice Civil Engineer.
The final roof bolt in The Hydro - the 12,000-capacity entertainment arena being built in Glasgow - was this week (Tuesday 30 October) put in place in a traditional "topping out" ceremony.
Fittingly, the honour of tightening the last bolt fell to 20-year-old apprentice civil engineer John McLaughlan, who has been on site since work began in April 2011.
The act saw the completion of the main structure by integrated property and infrastructure company Lend Lease of the iconic building on the banks of the Clyde, adjacent to the SECC.
John, from Knightswood, Glasgow, was joined on a platform high in the roof of The Hydro by Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson, SECC Chairman Sir Ian Grant, SECC Chief Executive John Sharkey and Gordon Anderson, Executive General Manager of Lend Lease.
The young apprentice, who combines his shifts at The Hydro with day release at Stow College, said: "Working at The Hydro has been a fantastic opportunity for me and has given me a foot in the door in the industry, one for which I am very grateful. My long-term plan is to study for a degree in civil engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University."
Gordon Anderson, executive general manager of Lend Lease, said: "The completion of The Hydro's roof structure is a highly complex feat of engineering, and today's topping out is a major step forward in The Hydro's construction programme. Over a million man hours have been safely completed in the construction process to date and this is a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the whole supply chain and workforce. We can take great pride in their achievement. It is a fantastic safety record and an example for the industry to follow."
SECC Chairman, Sir Ian Grant said: "The topping out ceremony today signifies just how close we are to the completion of a world class entertainment arena for Scotland and it has been inspiring to watch the progress that has been made by the project team to date. We are witnessing The Hydro materialising into an amazing structure and congratulate Lend Lease and everyone involved on reaching this pivotal stage in its construction."
Gordon Matheson, Glasgow City Council leader, said: "The Hydro takes Glasgow's global offer for entertainments and events to an even higher level. It's going to be as iconic as its neighbour the Armadillo, and it will play a key role in Glasgow's Commonwealth Games in 2014. I want to congratulate Lend Lease on a superb engineering achievement. I can't wait to see this amazing building lit up at night as it hosts many thousands of people. And I'm looking forward to celebrating another great Glaswegian venue as it drives more success for our great city."
Bailie Jonathan Findlay, chair of Glasgow's Regeneration Agency, said: "This project is a fine example of how a public & private partnership works in generating employment and apprenticeship opportunities for young people like John McLaughlan. Working with Lend Lease and their key partners, there is a genuine desire to make a difference in our community and leave a legacy of careers and skills behind. Today in part is about celebrating these efforts and more importantly recognising the difference this partnership has made to individual lives."
The Hydro, which is designed by Foster + Partners and will open in September 2013, is a purpose-build, 12,000-capacity entertainment arena which will play host to around 140 events each year, and has the potential to inject an additional £131m into the local economy. It will add to the SECC's events portfolio, and be in the top five busiest indoor entertainment arenas in the world, alongside such venues as Madison Square Garden in New York and The O2 in London.
It is the latest addition to the SECC complex, together with the SECC itself and the Clyde Auditorium.
The Hydro is sponsored by Scottish Hydro, part of SSE plc. SSE plc is the leading generator of renewable energy in the UK and the second largest energy company in the UK. It is involved in the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity, energy trading, the storage, distribution and supply of gas, electrical and utility contracting and telecoms.