A new community centre is being constructed in Castel, Guernsey to provide the parish community with a brand new, state of the art hub.
The existing community centre at St Matthew’s Church had been in operation for over 60 years, so was not suitable for the community’s current needs.
The hall was becoming increasingly cold in the winter months, so the cost of maintaining the building was increasing. Works began on site in September 2014 and are set to complete in July 2015 with Rihoy & Son acting as the main contractors and Lovell Ozanne & Partners providing the architectural services.
Rihoy & Son are currently mid-way through the construction of the new Cobo Community Centre which, when completed, will become the heart of the parish community. Plans to replace the previous St Matthew’s Church hall had been ongoing for over 10 years and after a successful start to the fundraising campaign the vision has become a reality.
Dan Taylor, Project Manager from Rihoy & Son, commented:
“Careful consideration has been given to the design of the centre to give the space as much flexibility as possible. The main features of the design are a divisible main hall, an easily maintained and more up-to-date structure, a well-equipped kitchen which can be accessed from all areas, meeting rooms, disabled facilities and access and toilets that can be accessed from all areas, together with well-planned parking.
“It’s great to be involved with a project that has taken much effort by many over the years to get it underway. The finished product will be enjoyed by many in the community.”
Works have progressed well so far with the construction of the centre. When complete the centre will comprise better facilities for current users such as Brownies, Rainbows, Guides and dancing classes. In a typical week, a host of community-based activities take place at the centre together with numerous private functions and parties. As well as serving existing users better facilities will also act as a hub for a wide range of other potential uses such as a central assembly point for the community in times of emergency.
The Cobo Community Centre have already had approaches to use the new facilities from many organisations including pre-school operators, training and seminar providers, Tai Chi and martial arts and St Matthew’s Church events and Sunday School.
The £1.5 million project has seen the demolition of the previous St Matthew’s Church Hall and the construction of a new two storey, granite and cedar clad building. The main materials being used in the centres construction include steel, granite, glass, anodised aluminium and cedar.
So far the onsite team have laid the building’s foundations, installed the drainage and floor slabs, as well as erected the steel frame. The internal and external blockwork has been completed along with the external stone work. The roof covering and external glazing are currently underway.
The team have still got a lot left to do such as undertaking the buildings internal fit out including plastering, tiling, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations and the construction of the ceilings, flooring and floor finishes.
The doors and carpentry are still to be done as are the completion of the WC’s and kitchen facilities. The lift installation, decoration and external hard and soft landscaping are also still to be completed.
The team did encounter a number of difficulties on site as the site footprint was quite tight which made deliveries t the site quite challenging. The site is also flanked each side by public roads which need to be kept open and free from obstruction.