Scenery backdrops at the redeveloped Royal Opera House will be manoeuvred more quickly and efficiently thanks to the fly bar system in the new tower. But improvement of facilities for storing and handling backcloths and scenery is just one part of the extensive building and refurbishment work now drawing to a close in Covent Garden (NCE 10 July 1997). Schal is construction manager for the work which includes renovation of the original 1858 building, restoration of the Floral Hall as a new foyer and creation of better areas for performers and audiences. Over 80 trade contractors are involved in the £176M construction project. Engineer is Ove Arup & Partners and the architect is Dixon Jones BDP. The theatre is due to reopen on time and on budget by December.