We've been banging on about it long enough, but on Monday the changing rooms finally got delivered!!
Thanks to those that did move their cars and vans out of the way for us, it was much needed as all 6 deliveries turned up on arctic lorries (we were expecting smaller loads after meeting the depot manager at the site and him seeing how tight access is!).
Thankfully the drivers and guys from Algeco (the company supplying and installing the changing rooms) were amazing and we managed to get them all in by around 3pm. Here's how it went...
Getting the lorries in the ground!
This was the hardest part! Anyone that knows the area can imagine how difficult it is to get an arctic lorry with a 45ft trailer up the street, turn it around and reverse it into the ground through the tight access. And just to make it that little bit harder its on a bus route, so we couldnt mess around too long before there was a bus waiting for us to get out the way!!
The changing rooms being delivered 31/10/22
The stress levels were through the roof getting the lorries in and stopping and diverting the traffic. The drivers had to get the angles inch perfect to be able to get in and out. Im glad we have purchased them so they can be left in place and we never have to try and get them back out of there!!
Setting up our home:-
Once the lorries were in it was over to the Algeco boys to set them in position, join them and make them water tight. This was a far less stressful operation which they made look easy. With the crane and lorry in position they would climb up onto the roof of the units and clip them on. The units were then lifted and placed into the correct position.
Offloading the first unit into position
With the first unit in place it was just a case of repeating the process - stressfully get a lorry into the ground, back up to the crane, attach the unit and then place in position.
Once placed the boys then connected them together and made them water tight. After the first two were laid this meant the home changing room was in place and made us realise the size of the space and how ideal it is for the kids! It was all very exciting and myself and Scooby were beaming, after 2 years of hard work it was all starting to come together in front of our eyes!
The rest of the units getting put into place
This part of the process went very well without any issues thankfully. It was just a case of keeping out of the way and taking plenty of photos! 📸
A lot of credit needs to be given to Johnny (of Will-Mor Groundworks) and Scooby for getting the foundation pads spot on. This meant there was no need for any messing about or packing to get them level, they were just dropped in place and onto the next.
The level on the unit floor after it was placed onto the foundation pads
As soon as we could we went inside for a look and couldnt believe the space! The changing rooms comprise of 6 units - 2 on either end for the 'home' and 'away' teams and 2 in the centre. The central units consist of 'home' and 'away' toilets, a refs changing room, a tuck shop and a smaller changing area. There's still a fair bit of work left to be done to complete the interior such as installing the benches and hooks, decorating the walls, boxing in pipework as well as Algeco carrying out their own completions with cabling and finishings.
But they are all in place and are water tight and bring is an absolutely massive step closer to getting the facility up and running and used by the kids.
First glimpse inside the 'home' changing rooms
Making it safe:-
As things are getting closer to the finish line its more important than ever to make it secure as it would be soul destroying if anything were to happen now to ruin it for the kids.
The first thing we've done is put anti-climbing paint on all the fences and gates surrounding the ground in the hope of keeping trespassers out!
We have also now had security alarms fitted to the changing rooms along with CCTV cameras which are constantly in operation.
Anti-climbing paint on the fences and our CCTV and alarms fitted to the changing rooms
We would like to thank everyone for their assistance and patience while the deliveries were being made as it did cause some disruption.
We would also like to thank one of our closest neighbours from the first house next to our main entrance (I didnt catch your name I'm sorry) who brought a tray of squash over for everyone and also made us some teas and coffees which was unbelievably kind of you!
We would also again like to thank the FAW for awarding us the large facilities grant (£126k) and to Merthyr Council for also awarding us the SETS grant (£25k)! Both grants and our own contribution (£14k) from fundraising went towards paying for the changing room units, delivery & installation, the CCTV and alarms and also for the effluent tank which will be used for our drainage. Without the help from all of these none of what we are doing would be possible!
We now need to install the large effluent tank beneath the car park next to the units for our drainage to run into. We also need to install all the benches and decorate inside as well and construct a step for the entrance and place a wooden skirt around the bottom of the units.
Theres also still the pitch to complete, clear the brambles and bushes by the fire station and our final wish of tarmacking the entire car park and ramps (we can dream!).
Our goal is to have our opening day next month and start playing on there, fingers crossed!
Thanks for reading, KJ 💙⚽️