Planning Ahead to Ensure London 2012 Legacy

As the Commonwealth Games in India come to an end, thoughts turn increasingly to the London Olympics in 2012. And the main thought from a construction point of view is to avoid the problems and last-minute panics that Delhi has had.
The signs do appear to be promising, with construction of the Olympic Stadium well-advanced and other parts of the project moving forward at speed. Indeed, despite the Games being almost two years away, plans are well developed in terms of what happens to the site once the closing ceremony has finished. The Olympic Park Legacy Company, which will take possession of the site once the Olympics are over, is charged with obtaining the best value out of the development.
West Ham Utd Interested…
The company has been in discussions with over 100 firms about future plans for the Olympic Stadium. However, with the passing of the 30th September deadline for official bids, only West Ham FC, in partnership with Newham Council, has registered a bid. This proposes to use the A�537 million venue as West Ham’s new home, reducing the capacity from 80,000 to 60,000 and retaining the running Home Construction Materials track so it is still available for athletics events. Although previously hostile to the retention of the track, the club now accepts that it has to stay as a key commitment made to the International Olympic Committee by the London bidders. Indeed, West Ham is pushing its position as a leading football club as a means of boosting athletics attendances and developing new talent.
With modern stadia needing to earn revenue all the year round, West Ham has held talks with entertainment giant AEG regarding a possible partnership. Concert promoter Live Nation has also come into discussions and there are other plans for the stadium, including its possible use as a venue if England’s 2018 World Cup bid is successful.
The Olympic site’s high-tech media centre will be used by around 20,000 media staff while the Games are on. After that, there are plans to convert the 90,000 square metres of facilities into a digital and media complex along similar lines to the Googleplex complex in California. The legacy organisation has invited bidders for the communications facilities, although allowing only nine weeks for proposals to create a business district with offices, education facilities, culture spaces and studios. The hope is that around 8,000-10,000 jobs will eventually be created on the Olympic site.
Plans for Athletes’ Village to Become Residential Homes…
Plans are also moving forward to convert the publicly owned athletes’ village into homes. The original plan had been for the athletes’ village to be privately funded but prospects fell through when the recession hit and the government was forced to invest an extra A�324 million into what became a A�1 billion project. The Olympic Development Authority (ODA) is now looking to recoup at least some of the government’s investment in the project in Stamford by getting private sector companies to take over the village. It is looking for expressions of interest in what ultimately could amount to over 4,000 new homes.
At present, there are 2,818 potential homes with 1,379 of these having been bought by Triathlon Homes for affordable housing. The ODA still owns the remaining 1,439 properties but hopes they will eventually be rented or sold on the private market. Six plots within the village site are earmarked for future development, with the possibility of a further 2,100-2,500 new homes being built. Once a shortlist of interested parties has been produced, discussions and proposals will follow and the aim is to decide on the disposal by next summer.
Budget Issues and Management Canada Electrician Test Changes…
Development of the Olympic site appears to be on schedule and there is an admirable safety record, it has not been without its problems. Not least of these is that the capital budget, currently standing at A�9.3 billion, is almost three times the original estimate. On top of this, a further several hundred million pounds are to be spent on converting the site after the Games are over.
As a result of the current economic situation, the ODA has been ordered to reduce its budget by A�27 million. This was soon followed by its Chief Executive, David Higgins, announcing he was leaving in February 2011 to join Network Rail. Higgins has been in charge for five years and was credited with keeping the project on schedule and without major incidents. His successor will be Dennis Hone, who has been the ODA’s Director of Finance for the last four years and so knows the project well so hopefully the games will stay ‘on-track’ and avoid the negative press that dominated the run up to this years commonwealth games.