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Memorial Centre Progress

This page contains the Memorial Trust's progress reports concerning the new Memorial Centre, as they appeared in Steeple and Street from March 2013 onwards. They are arranged in chronological order (oldest to newest); and because this is quite a long page, here are some links:

Some of this material has already been included elsewhere on the website, but the reports are collected here in one place for convenience.

MARCH 2013

At the Trust AGM on 19 January, the final stage in the merger of the Village Hall Trust and the Memorial Ground Trust was completed with the appointment of Trustees for the new charitable trust - the Whiteparish Memorial Trust. These Trustees are:

Sid Roberts, Geoff Mortimer and Berny Higgins nominated by the various users groups and Leo Randall, Anne Baker and Linda Palmer nominated by the Parish Council.

At the first meeting of the Trust, Sid was appointed Chairman, Anne as Secretary and Linda as Treasurer.

By now, everyone in the village should have received a copy of the document giving details of progress to build the Memorial Centre. Trustees will make sure that everyone can follow the progress of the construction through regular updates and pictures on the village website - www.whiteparish.co.uk.

If you would like another copy, please contact any Trustee: Sid Roberts [884462]; Anne (884343); Linda [884737]; Berny [884846); Geoff (884850) or Leo (884881)

This point in the project is a major milestone and represents the culmination of a lot of work over many years, by many, many people. The Trustees would like to say thank you to anyone and everyone who has helped the project get here. We can all feel rightly proud of ourselves and look forward to the new building by the end of this year.

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APRIL 2013

Work started on 18 February and the 'eagle eyed' will have noticed the Pavilion has been demolished, the area cleared and ground works have started, to level the site area.

Our consultant ecologist arrived on site and asked for a number of amendments to be made to the management of the site during construction and in respect of the storage area at the rear of the building. Ail of this has now been agreed and work has started again in earnest.

During April, ground levelling will be completed and soil excavated for the foundations. We will also see the start of drainage works and steel fabrication for the building itself. There will be increased traffic during this phase as muck lorries take soil away and other lorries bring in concrete and steel. This will cause unavoidable inconvenience and the Contractor is working with the lorry drivers to minimise disruption as much as possible. Trustees are very grateful for your patience and your support during this month.

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JUNE 2013

Progress continues to plan! In May the steel frame for the Main Hall was erected - and the ground prepared for the floor. This meant scouring the ground to make it absolutely level and building wooden shuttering around the floor area. The large white blocks were installed to absorb any heave in the clay soils and the concrete was poured on site, reinforced with seven tonnes of steel rods.

The rest of the building is a traditional build and Trustees have chosen bricks from Michelmersh to blend in with the Surgery. Scaffolding and brickwork starts in June along with excavation for the soakaways and drainage.

Visitors to the Memorial Ground may have also noticed that the cricket square grass has been cut. Sport England and the Contractor are pleased with progress and will continue with a programme of maintenance throughout the summer months.

Trustees are very grateful for the forbearance and support of the village.

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JULY 2013

After what seemed a long time with little progress, July will see significant changes in the building. All the floors are now laid and brickwork has started. During July, brickwork will get to about first floor level, after scaffolding has been erected.

Work to install the various utilities will also start this month. Southern Gas is insisting that a trench is dug for the whole length of the car park - in one go. The excavation work will start on Monday 1 July, ready for Southern Gas to arrive and lay their pipe starting Monday 8 July. Once Southern Gas has finished, Rigg Construction will work hard to backfill the trench as quickly as possible and restore the car park. However, there will be a significant impact on the capacity of the car park for those two weeks. This will be a difficult time for regular usersof the car park and Trustees apologise for the inconvenience.

Users of the MUGA will have noticed that the moss has been cleared and the area sprayed to (hopefully!) contain further growth. Trustees have also made repairs and serviced the equipment in the children's play area and skateboard ramp.

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Following the recent excavations in the car park, Trustees are delighted to report that gas was successfully installed and water and BT ducts have been laid. We are very grateful for everyone's forbearance during the works.

Observers will notice that brickwork continues. The scaffolding will rise in August to allow brickwork to be completed to the eaves and work start on the roof.

Electricity to the Memorial Centre will be delivered from the pole at the football pitch end of the Memorial Ground. This will require a trench to be dug to allow SSE to lay their cables. Excavation work started at the end of July and we expect the work be completed and the trench backfilled by 9th August. There is a small caveat - in that if there is an "emergency", it is possible that SSE could divert resources, with a delay in laying their cable and backfilling the trench.

The sewage pipe for the Centre will need to be laid in a trench - which will require some further excavation in the car park. At the time of writing, Trustees do not have a definite date from Southern Water. Trustees and their contractor - Rigg, are trying to get the work completed during the main holiday period - so that impact is reduced in the car park and on Common Road when the pipe is connected to the Main Sewer. As soon as Trustees have more details, we will provide an update on the village website.

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The roof is proceeding well and masonry is almost complete! The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed that some outside walls are made of grey breeze blocks - these will eventually be clad with cedar to 'soften' the look of the building and help it blend in to the surroundings.

The plan to dig a trench through the car park to install the sewer pipe has been delayed - Trustees are still waiting for the Southern Water contractor to make the application to Wiltshire Council. It is very likely that the work will happen after the end of the quieter holiday period and Trustees can only apologise for any disruption.

The project is currently 10 days behind schedule and the Trustees and Rigg will work hard to try and recover that time over the next two months.

Trustees are starting to think about life when the building is finished. There will be opportunities for a cleaner and caretaker and if you think you might be interested, please contact any of the Trustees who can give you more information.

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The roof on the Main Hall is complete, including guttering; there is less scaffolding and the focus has shifted to the roof on the front and side areas. During September, work on the fit out inside will start, as Trustees have now chosen everything from kitchen units to paint colours.

Although progress continues, Trustees are disappointed that some sub contractors to the main contractor have caused delays in the build programme. A detailed review of the remaining work programme has projected that the building will be handed over to Trustees on 23 December - four weeks behind the original programme plan.

Trustees will look to make the building available for hiring from 20 January 2014. If you want to register interest in hiring any part of the Memorial Centre, please contact Linda Palmer on palmerlinda@hotmail.co.uk, with your requested date and time.

You can see a library of photos showing the construction progress to date on the village website whiteparish.co.uk

Trustees are also looking to fill the roles of caretaker, cleaner and booking clerk. If you are interested, please contact any of the Trustees who have a brief job description for each role.

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Work is proceeding and Trustees have started taking bookings for the Memorial Centre -from 20 January 2014.

The Main Hall will be slightly larger than the old village hall. The Cowesfield Room will be a smaller room that could seat about 50 people in theatre style and will have direct access onto the Memorial Ground through two pairs of glazed doors. Both rooms will be accessed from the main lobby area and have a hatch to/from the kitchen.

Trustees have spent a lot of time developing a budget for the running costs of the new building. We have listed all the different costs expected and made estimates based on consultations with other village halls, suppliers and our professional advisers. With all of this information we have set the hiring charges for the Memorial Centre as follows:

Main Hall or Cowesfield Room £10 per hour Includes the kitchen as a shared facility
Main Hall or Cowesfield Room -for hire by non-village Groups £15 per hour Includes the kitchen as a shared facility
Changing Rooms Included in football/cricket pitch hire
Changing Rooms without pitch hire £2-50 per room, per hour  
Main Hall or Cowesfield Room £100 a day (8am -6pm) Includes the kitchen as a shared facility
Main Hall or Cowesfield Room £200 24 hour hire Includes the kitchen as a shared facility
Main Hall or Cowesfield Room £300 36 hour hire Includes the kitchen as a shared facility
Main Hall or Cowesfield Room Commercial rate £25 per hour Includes the kitchen as a shared facility

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Despite the massive amount of work completed in the last few weeks, Trustees are disappointed to report that they were not able to take possession of the building on 20 December.

The Main Hall will have a solid oak floor and before it can be laid - the building needs to have a humidity and temperature within certain tolerances. To operate the heating system, we needed the electricity and the water supply to be switched on'. Trustees were advised by SSE they needed a new supply (rather than utilise that for the old Pavilion). The man arrived to fit the meter - and he had a different reference number from the new three phase supply on the pole down by the football pitch. He left without fitting the meter - and only came back on 11 December. The new water supply to the building needed chlorination and all the necessary certificates were issued - unfortunately Wessex Water promised a variety of dates to come and connect the pipe to the main supply in Common Road. They eventually turned up on 18 December, connected the water supply and as an added bonus - managed to demolish the car park wall.

All of this meant the temperature and humidity were outside the required tolerance and we then missed our slot with the firm laying the floor. They will be back in the new year and the plan now says the building and the outside -' areas will all be handed over at the same time - by 24 January.

Just in time for the Trust AGM on Saturday 25 January at 10am. Do come along -you'll be able to take a quick look around the new building--although Trustees will be offering that opportunity again at the end of January

Trustees are very conscious of the disruption in the Memorial Ground car park and around the area in general. We would like to thank the whole village for their patience and tolerance during the construction. We hope that you will agree - the building will have been worth the hassle.

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It's been a long time coming - Trustees have finally taken possession of the new Memorial Centre building.

The Trust AGM was held on Saturday 25th January and a full report can be found on the village website www.whiteparish.co.uk.

Work on landscaping around the building and to restore the Memorial Ground to its' former glory will continue for several weeks - some dryer weather would be big help!

Trustees know there will lots of little wrinkles over the first few months and we look forward to working with all the users to iron out and find a way forward. We are enormously grateful for all the support we have received during the construction - not least about the impact in the car park. With less 'white vans around, life should return to something more normal.

As a building site, it has not been possible for people to get inside the building. Now the building is open, Trustees would love to invite you to come and visit the Memorial Centre - on Sunday 2 February between 2pm and 4pm. Come and have a cup of tea with us and take a look round. Trustees will be on hand to answer any questions about why it is designed the way it is (there will be a reason...). We are sure that everyone will have an opinion - just remember, it's an impossible task to satisfy everyone, all of the time. We've just done our very best.

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