Council assesses former Beales department store ahead of proposed move

Mansfield District Council are beginning detailed inquiries into the condition of the former Beales department store prior to its intention to move there.

The council wants to leave the Mansfield Civic Center and instead operate in the old town center store on the corner of Queen Street and Stockwell Gate, having converted it into a public sector ‘centre’.

The Labour-led council has submitted a £20million bid to the government for money from the Leveling Fund and is expected to find out whether the bid has been successful in the coming months.

But now he has appointed a firm to carry out assessments of the structure and cladding of the old department store while it is vacant to examine what work will be needed.

This includes the study of vertical and horizontal cracks, steel corrosion and off-line concrete panels in parts of the building.

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Parts of damaged concrete structures will also have to be tested on ‘solidity’ samples, while the brick wall to the west of the building was found to be ‘leaning with the parapet wall displaced’.

A decision approved last week awarded a contract to engineering consultant Faithful & Gould, who submitted a quote for £19,250 plus VAT to carry out the survey work.

The council confirmed that the surveys do not include assessments of the pedestrian bridge connecting the building to the Four Seasons Mall.

In a report, Dawn Edwards, the council’s chief financial officer, described the extent of the investigations needed to ensure the building was safe.

She said: ‘There are vertical and horizontal cracks on the exterior elevations indicating corroded steel framing, reinforcement or differential movement between the masonry and the concrete panels.

“Further investigations are necessary to determine the nature and cause of the damage and, if possible, will describe the repair work necessary to restore the condition or stability.

“Some of the exterior concrete panels are out of alignment and appear to have shifted. Additional investigations are necessary on the fixings of these panels to determine the cause of this movement.

“Damaged reinforced concrete structural elements will require examination and sample testing by a specialist.

“This will involve checking for areas of chipping [cracking] concrete for strength and rating [the] condition of steel reinforcement and taking samples of concrete for chloride content and depth of carbonization.

“The brick wall at the west elevation is leaning with the parapet wall displaced. This appears to be due to [the] enlargement of the concrete slab adjacent to the flat roof.

“Investigations are needed to confirm the cause of the movement. Any necessary repair work, provision of retainers or reconstruction work will be advised.

The contract with Faithful & Gould was approved in the decision on Friday October 7, with the company now cleared to continue work.

If the Leveling Up Fund’s bid is approved by ministers, the public sector center could see other local authorities, including Nottinghamshire County Council, take up space in the town center building.

The Department for Work and Pensions, West Nottinghamshire College, Nottingham Trent University, the NHS and voluntary organization CVS have also expressed interest.

The council said the move would bring services closer to residents.

Andy Abrahams, the district’s Labor mayor, has previously said: “Consolidating public services into one downtown space makes so much sense, both for the provision of these services to our community and for the wider economic benefits. for downtown.

“Mansfield really needs this kind of ambitious reimagining of its shopping streets into a mixed-use town center if it is to build a bright future and encourage inward investment.

“This is a unique opportunity to transform the fortunes and prospects of our city for the better.

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