Everton Stadium is set to enter a transformative phase in 2023, with work ramping up on the internal works.
As the external appearance continues to develop, the race is on to make the build watertight to allow tradesmen to begin work in installing hundreds of miles of piping, wiring and the internal fittings.
“I think we should just warn spectators that in 2023 it will look like things are slowing down from an external perspective,” said Chief Stadium Development Officer, Colin Chong.
“A big milestone that people will want to see is the east stand steelwork that will fill in the gap between the north and south steelwork.
“However, it will slow down externally, although internally it’s going to be a hive of activity.
“In real terms, the fit-out is starting in January, when we will start putting all the wires and piping in.
“People won’t notice it as much, as it’s internal, but it’s equally as important to the stadium development as the roof going up.”
As with the external concrete and steel components, much of the internal walls are pre-manufactured in factory conditions and transported to site in just-in-time slots for installation.
All mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems in the stadium will be manufactured off-site in the Oldbury (West Midlands) factory of Laing O’Rourke’s specialist MEP business, Crown House Manufacturing.
The six-foot high modules and an innovative product called Techwall, will be delivered to site, lifted into place, connected and commissioned, in an approach that helps save time and energy.
“There are life-safe systems, resilience to be planned, and all the toilets on the concourses will be coming in in modules, pre-manufactured,” explained Chong, in a special Official Everton Podcast on the stadium build.
>>> LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE
“The pipework will arrive pre-manufactured, tested in the factory, and be offered up and connected, so there are less connections throughout the whole building. There’s less welding, so less risk of fire and it’s the modern way of building things.
“Again, we’ll be working on all four concourses simultaneously, along with the hospitality lounges starting, probably in March.
“The skeleton of the dressing rooms is already in place (in the west stand). We’ve got the pit for the hydrotherapy pools and all the apertures for all the incoming services.
“There are hundreds of miles of beer pythons that have to go in at some point and they’ll all start to go in next year.
“We ramp up with people and we’ll end up with 1,000 people there next year and probably up to around 1,400 on site the year after.
“There’s a whole host of things going to happen this year, but not a lot of people are going to notice it because it’s going to be hidden.”
A reminder that Everton is inviting supporters to take part in a series of surveys that will help shape matchdays and the overall visitor experience at the new stadium.
The wide-ranging research will allow the Club to build on the results of previous fan surveys to provide a thorough understanding of the expectations of supporters in relation to the new stadium.
The first survey, entitled ‘Matchday Experience’, has been sent directly to supporters aged 18 and over and seeks to gather thoughts in relation to matchday food and drink, pre/post-match entertainment, travel plans and expectations for new matchday rituals.
Emails from the Club, with an invitation to take part in the multi-phase study, have been sent out to members of the Fans’ Panel, which includes Season Ticket and Official Members as well as Shareholders. Supporters on the Season Ticket waiting list and match-going Blues have also received an invitation to complete the first survey.
Evertonians who don’t believe they are part of the groups listed above, and wishing to complete the survey, have the opportunity to do so by entering their Supporter Number and surname by clicking here.
The survey will be open until 10am on Monday, 9 January 2023, giving fans the chance to share their views and preferences.