Old School Reburbishments
SANDHURST OLD SCHOOL HALL REFURBISHMENTS – Gillian Davis 2013 :
The earliest photograph that I have seen is 1850, so one can assume that this building was erected c.1840s and used as the village school until the new Primary School was founded in 1909. It appears that the flat roof and back extension were built c.1977/8 Previously there was an outside privy, one inside toilet, a small committee room and a very basic kitchen. The extension provided space for two washrooms, a small hall and a new kitchen.
The Old School Hall has always been at the heart of Sandhurst and has been used for everything from Nursery school to Sunday school. Originally it was owned by the Church of England but run by a village committee who paid a peppercorn rent. However, in 2007 it was offered for sale to the Parish Council and ownership transferred to them in 2008. During this time of changeover and uncertainty, very little money was spent on the hall. However things started to progress when the Parish Council took over the running of the building, allocating funds from the precept and receiving local authority grants for a new kitchen and flooring. In 2013 a further programme of refurbishments was undertaken, thanks to additional local authority grants and money from the precept. These improvements included replacing all the windows, upgrading the toilets and painting and repairing the outside with its characteristic gingerbread trim. An additional energy saving grant has resulted in loft and cavity wall insulation, renewal of the flat roof and replacement of lighting tubes with LED bulbs, which together should save up to 60% of our energy bills. Over £25,000 has been spent on bringing this 19th.Century building up to 21st. Century standards, without any loss of its special charm and character.
The main hall has a wooden floor measuring 17mts by 5 mts which has been re-sanded and sealed, after a `Flamenco Evening` raised over £1,140 towards the final cost. This is used for all village meetings plus Zumba, Bridge Club, Line dancing, Exercise classes, Fitness classes, Martial arts, Tai Chi, Children`s dance classes and Adult Ballet. It is equipped with a hearing loop, sound system, pull down screen, ballet barres and piano. The back hall measures approx. 3mts by 3.5mts and leads into the fully equipped kitchen area. There is a special toilet to accommodate disabled users in wheelchairs. There is also a small `Parish Council` office, which is open at certain times during the week. The courtyard area measuring 10 mts x 10 mts. is accessible from both halls.
Renovation Grants for Old School Hall:
In 1902 a new Village School was built and The Old School became the village hall for Sandhurst. The Church of England then let the hall to the Parish Council. Alterations to the hall in 1976 included a basic kitchen and the addition of a toilet block
In December 2007 the Parish Council purchased the hall from the Church of England. In 2010 the Parish Council took the hall under its management and decided to tackle the effect of years of underfunding. The kitchen did not meet Health and Safety guidelines, toilets were grubby and old fashioned, the hall required painting and the external woodwork was rotten. The new Management Committee has representation of the Parish Council and the regular users. Its first job was to find money for the badly needed renovations from grants to supplement the Parish Council Precept and what the village could raise itself.
We are immensely grateful to those Grant Authorities who gave us the wherewithal to refurbish our much loved Village Hall.
2011: KCC Member’s Community Grant of £2000 + £9000 from Parish Council. We updated the kitchen with new units, range cooker, water boiler, new flooring and new central heating boiler.
2012: Awards for All Grant (Lottery) of £1610 to install a hearing loop and PA system in the Main Hall.
2012/2013: Grants from KCC (Small Community capital grant of £7782) and TWBC (Heritage Grant of £4800) were matched from the Precept, which enabled the replacement of all windows, external repair of all woodwork, a total repainting of the building and the updating and painting of the toilets. Local Fund Raising (a Flamenco Evening & Quiz) paid for the re-sanding and sealing of the Main Hall’s wooden floor and the purchase of a ‘traffic mat’ to protect the floor.
2013/2014: A 100% Energy Saving Grant from KCC modernised the insulation of the flat roof, insulated the cavity walls and the loft spaces and replaced all lights with LED bulbs.
2014: Awards for All Grant of £8011 paid for the internal painting, window blinds and the refurbishment of the courtyard with artificial grass.
All we have left to do is replace the concertina doors.
We are happy to report that the use of the Hall has markedly increased and the Hall is well on the way to self-sufficiency.