During 2020 the Covid-19 situation limited the work able to be undertaken, however, all the doors and doorframes at the rear of the premises have been repainted with durable external gloss and new signs have been installed throughout the premises.
Completed works to date
It is now 6 years since we started the improvements plan for the village hall. We are aware that there are still more maintenance issues to tackle, and are continuing to save up for these.
Achievements over the past 6 years are:
New Kitchens - Both the Old School Hall & Sculptor's Hall have new fully fitted kitchens
Separate CH systems for the Old School Hall & Sculptor's Hall - two separate central heating / hot water systems have been installed and are being monitored for performance.
Floors - Problems with the floor buckling in the South-West corner of the Sculptor's Hall have been resolved and the skirting has been replaced with easy to remove boxing enabling easy access to CH pipes. The floors in the Old School Hall and Committee Room were sanded down and re-finished with heavy duty protective varnish.
Old School Hall- Radiator covers have a quick release mechanism to enable them to be removed for additional heat on cold evenings.
Old School Hall - New strip lights have been installed.
Wifi - Free wifi with internet access has been installed with range extenders to enable usage throughout the premises.
Storage - The old ramshackle sheds around the premises have been demolished and new ones installed behind the Sculptor's Hall and outside the Old Boiler Room. Pre-School have new purpose-built storage at the north end of the Old School hall and North Entrance. Dorking Bridge Club have a new store in the entrance area. Storage in the former Headmaster's Classroom has been taken out of use in preparation for the new Arts / Drop-In Centre in this area. The net result is an increase in available storage.
Car Parking - Demolition of the old sheds, replacement of the bank separating the Sculptor's Hall and car park with a wall and conversion of the grassed area on the west side side of the car park have resulted in a much larger area for parking. This has now been marked out into parking spaces, which, with considerate parking has increased the capacity from 9 cars to 15 spaces.
Front Area - The access area at the front of the building has been closed by lockable barriers either end to prevent access by cars and a 'safe path' constructed across this currently badly damaged area.
Electrics - Remedial and replacement of most electrical components.
Sun Blinds have been fitted to the high level windows on the West and North sides of the Sculptor's Hall to prevent dazzle late afternoons.
External Doors - The North & South Old School Hall entrance doors have been stripped of their 1990s veneer addition and restored.
Internal Redecoration - The Old School Hall & Committee Room have been redecorated and paintwork is being regularly touched up.
We have an outline programme of future works which will further improve our premises and facilities.
Redecoration - A schedule of ongoing touch-up and maintenance is in progress.
Acoustics - The acoustics of the Old School Hall will need further work to reduce echos.
Ladies Toilets - Possible installation of a shower.
Front Area - A major works plan for this needs to be considered. This will be complex as it involves Mole Valley, Highways Agency, Sutton & East Surrey Water, The Environment Agency and North Holmwood Village Hall and possibly other utility companies.
Creation of the new Arts & Drop-In Centre (The Studio)
Former Headmaster's Room - This (the north end of the premises) is in need of structural repairs. The area was partitioned to form 3 stores in 1992, and access to the areas of concern has been difficult from inside the building. Following the demolition of the 3 stores, work commenced to develop the area into an Arts / Drop-In Centre, adding an exciting new facility to North Holmwood Village Hall (See separate page linked above). Sadly, this is now suspended until after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Front Area
This area has become problematic due to a history of what appears to be discoordinated works dating back to at least the 1950's.
Spook Hill - At some point Spook Hill was levelled to reduce the gradient of the climb - the result of this is that the village hall (then St. John's School) was left below the level of the road. At the time, we believe Spook Hill was still operating as the A24 trunk road to Horsham and therefore not under local authority control.
A concrete wall was constructed and subsequently fenced on top. This concrete wall is showing signs of cracking and bulging and the pavement above showing signs of subsidence.
Drainage & Utilities - the drains and untility conduits appear to have been left at the original level of the road, now residing within the village hall area. Some of these are now in disrepair and may be part of the cause of the water problems in the Sculptor's Hall.
Access to the school / village hall - to provide access to the premises at some point the area between the building and the concrete was was built up with tarmac including ramps.
Damp Course & Air Bricks - In parts the tarmac is above the damp course and even above the air bricks. In other parts the air bricks were partially left clear by the construction of mini brick walls around them forming a recess in the tarmac. The air bricks are below the tarmac level and the areas fill with debris stopping air circulation.
Damp - Where the damp course has been breached we have some issues with damp on the lower part of the walls.
Car parking - with sloped access from the road to the lightly tarmac finished front area of the premises, the area became used for parking cars at busy times. The layer of tarmac over mud in this area has been churned up and partially destroyed making the area pot-holed and a risk to the elderly & infirm.
What we want:
- The front area dug up and services and utlities properly repaired.
- Proper land drainage installed at a level which allows us to have the damp course and air bricks once again above ground.
- A properly hard-core supported new surface laid with ramps to the level of Spook Hill such that the area can once again be used for car parking at busy times.
- Repair work to the supporting wall for Spook Hill to address the cracking and pavement subsidence.
- Who has responsibility for the overall project?
- Who pays for what?
- Co-ordination of timings
- North Holmwood Village Hall cannot foot the bill for everything!
Whilst we try to sort out a strategy for this (committee member Jacqueline Johnston has kindly offered to lead this), the area has been closed off and a temporary 'safe path' constructed just inside the wall to avoid drains and allow vehicular access to the area for emergency requirements.