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Construction

Creating a new museum and art gallery
It’s taken a huge amount of work to get to the construction stage for the new museum and art gallery.
Our collections have been safely packed up and stored.
Exhibition plans are being developed for the first 5 years of the new museum.

Not all of the work to construct the new museum and gallery at the Town Hall will be obvious from the outside of the building.  Below are the main stages of the construction project. Check back here to see how it is progressing (see where we have got to in blue) and what to look out for next (see our current focus in green). Our blog will include stories and pictures of progress as it happens.

What’s happening? What can you expect?

Pre-construction preparations

Hoarding will secure the site and keep the public safe. In time this will include the exhibition “Talking Buildings” and give a flavour of what will be inside the new museum and art gallery.
Scaffolding will be installed where it is needed to enable the refurbishment work on the outside of the building.
Basement underpinning and excavation

A new 180m2 gallery will be created below the existing Town Hall. Look out for the conveyor belt moving spoil from under the Town Hall. What else might be found? Archaeologists will be monitoring anything of interest.
Internal staircase and lift shaft construction

New staircases inside will complement the beautiful original to ensure visitors can access all parts of the building. A new lift will make the building accessible for those with mobility difficulties and push chairs.
Glazed link gallery construction (East)

First a steel frame will be built to form the link gallery between the front and back of the building at first floor level. Large glass panels will complete the gallery and provide city views once the museum is open.  Look up from Chequer Street to see this work in progress.
Glazed link gallery construction (West)

Another steel frame will form the first floor link gallery on the west side. Look up from Market Place to see its formation. Large glass panels will complete the gallery and give views to the clock tower and cathedral.
External repairs and redecoration The outside of the building will be repaired and painted. Once the scaffolding is removed, these improvements will be revealed.
Internal fit out

New electrics, heating, lighting and toilets will be installed. The whole building will also be decorated. 
Courtroom and Assembly room redecoration These beautiful original spaces will be restored and redecorated for use within the new museum and art gallery.
Learning space fit out

Interactive white boards, sinks and furiture will all be installed to make this a great base for learning in the museum and art gallery.
New café kitchen installation

Our new café will be integrated into the museum and art gallery. The new kitchen will enable caterers to serve great quality food and drink for visitors and special events.
Practical completion

This is when the building is handed over from the building contractor to the owner (the Council). Once this happens, the museum and gallery team will start their work to install the first exhibitions.
Permanent gallery fit out

The St Albans timeline will give an introduction to the city and district using objects from the collections.
First exhibitions installation

The museum service will be transforming each of the galleries into wonderful exhibitions to entertain you. We’re looking forward to sharing them with you.