THE old Dudley Hospital on the corner of Summer and Hill streets is undergoing a $2million internal transformation, however the iconic art-deco exterior of the building is being retained.
At a sneak preview of plans for the building accounting firm Pigot, Miller and Wilson revealed details for the development, with plans for the firm to occupy the building early in the new year.
Project manager and builder Mick Banks said weeks were spent gutting the building and removing debris and rubbish left by squatters.
The northern end of the building, which faces the roundabout on the corner of Summer and Hill streets, will be occupied on three levels by the accounting firm, who is incorporating wireless technology into the communication systems in some areas of the new premises.
“White boards will be a thing of the past when we occupy the building early next year,” said PMW partner Daniel Miller.
Mr Banks said all the interior staircases in the building had to be removed due to fire compliance issues and are being reconstructed.
“It was a real mess inside, particularly upstairs, and we had pidgeons roosting in here and the building had been vandalised inside,” he said.
Mr Banks said the roof of the building has been replaced and, apart from a minor alteration, is similar to the original roof of the building.
It was the sawtooth roofline and other features of the building which became the focus of objections when Matthew Savage property intended redeveloping the building two years ago.
When that development failed the building was purchased by Pigot Miller Wilson and Hayes Group.
Mr Miller said PMW and builders have remained in close contact with the owners of the house on the northern side of the redevelopment, who expressed major concerns over the former development by Matthew Savage.
“We speak to the neighbours on a regular basis and want to ensure they are not being disturbed by the work,” said Mr Miller.
Mr Banks said he is employing 13 of his own staff and local contractors in a workforce of up to 70, including all local contractors.
Mr Miller said a focus in the redevelopment of the building is retaining it’s exterior in a way that will be remembered by long-term residents.
“Many local residents know or remember loved ones who were born or treated in the hospital,” Mr Miller said.
He said the builders have made every effort to retain as many of the original features of the building as possible, including many art-deco style windows.