This page tells you all about the big project to refurbish the entrance hall, carried out in 2018.
What was the project?
To replace the flooring in the entrance hall and storerooms, and to add an exit ramp from the kitchen to improve fire safety.
Why was this work needed?
The hall was originally built in 1922 as a World War 1 tin hut. It was rebuilt to the current brick building in 1981, with a further extension added in 1999. However the entrance hall was still on the 1920s supports. The floor there was suspended (as is that of the main hall) but there were no airbricks beneath the entrance. Partly due to this and partly due to age, there was an ongoing problem with woodworm. The floor was also stained and this could not be removed. The storerooms also had old chipboard floors with the woodworm starting to invade.
There had been several attempts to eradicate the woodworm, but with no lasting success. In 2017 the committee compared a major professional woodworm treatment with the cost of total floor replacement. The latter would cost over double the former, but would give us a permanent solution and a smarter and warmer entrance hall.
Our fire risk assessment did not insist that we added a ramp from the kitchen door, but to improve safety we decided to do so. In the unlikely event of a fire this will allow wheelchair users to leave from either fire exit.
Given the size of the job, we applied to the National Lottery for assistance. We were delighted to be awarded a grant of £9500. The rest of the cost came from reserves – with the addition of redecoration, electricals, skips, building control and so on the final cost was £20,500.
What was involved?
Following a safety survey for previous works, we already knew that there was asbestos debris under the entrance hall floor. For this reason alone, it was essential to close the hall for the works – and as there would be a lot of heavy building involved, we shut down for three weeks in August and September 2018. This minimised cancelled bookings.
The committee rolled up their sleeves and shifted all the contents of the store rooms to the side room. The old table rack was dismantled and we were ready to go. That said, we had to be on call during the works to authorise the inevitable extensions when problems were found, and to let in building control to inspect the works.
Over the next three weeks:
- the old floor was removed and the asbestos debris safely disposed of
- the internal supports were upgraded to modern building standards, including removal of wet-rot affected joinery
- the underfloor cabling was replaced to modern standards
- the underfloor void was filled with 60 tons of hardcore, which was then covered with a layer of insulation and then a layer of concrete. At this point we had to be on call to open and shut windows; it is amazing how much water is in concrete.
- the exit ramp from the kitchen was built
We took the opportunity to paint the entrance hall and store rooms, which had not been done in 10 years. Once this was done, the hard-working committee then dealt with an enormous amount of dust. The hall reopened on time with duckboards over the concrete – it takes 8 weeks to dry before the tiles could be laid. Once that time had passed, the builders returned to lay and grout the tiles. We could then replace the items in the storerooms and reopen the side room.
Sounds easy? Here’s the project in a 33 second slideshow!
If you’d like to see more, there’s a full gallery at the end of this page.
What about finishing touches?
The scruffy handrail at the front ramp was removed, sandblasted and repainted. A new rail was added to the rear ramp. BT were persuaded to repaint the phone box (which does work) and Llanymynech and Pant parish council paid for the refurbishment of the bench beside it. The last job was to commission a new rack for storing tables, which is in the large store room. The rest of the tables live on two trolleys so we have safe and easy storage for these.
We sincerely hope that this work will last us many years! Thank you to all involved, and especially to the #NationalLottery and to lottery players for the considerable contribution to the funding of this project.
Below is the full image gallery of this big project for a little hall. Click or tap to see the full images and captions.