So, here we have a great community project I am thrilled to tell you about.
Merchistoun Hall, our very busy community centre, is to get a brand new bandstand, but as an awesome community project supported by businesses and Highbury College.
The bandstand will be used for Amateur Dramatics, Weddings, Garden Parties, the many clubs that use the hall, and hopefully the 2014 Last Night Of The Proms which is the target opening date.
The bandstand is currently going through planning permission and if approved will be 8m in diameter and a brick / render structure to match Merchistoun Hall. Importantly it will be built not by local builders, but by students from Highbury College who will use this as a real life project for the training and final assessment of their trades students who are learning skills in Groundworks, Brickwork, Render, Carpentry and roofing. Instead of building a wall in a class room with sand instead of mortar, this will give the students a chance to build a permanent structure as part of their training which will stand up (hopefully) for a very long time. Many of the students at Highbury are from Horndean so this will be a great landmark project for them.
‘This is a brilliant opportunity for our Construction students to work on a very high profile local community project, our students like nothing more than working on real sites and projects that give them a taste of what working life will be like. Highbury College is very grateful to the Horndean community for giving us this great opportunity, which we trust will be a great addition to the residents of this area.’ Dee John Executive Director. Highbury College, Portsmouth.
The architectural design is being carried out by HGP Architects who are based in Fareham and are very pleased to be supporting the project. Nick Beacon of HGP said “We are always looking to engage in the community to give something back, and this project which gives so much practicable benefit to local students as a real life learning opportunity was just too good a project to turn down”.
Strucutral Engineers Reuby and Stagg are also giving their time to the design for free and providing structural calculations for the walls, steelwork and roof structure. Reuby and Stagg are the Structural Engineers at the Gales Site and like HGP are very keen to give something back to the community. Graham Bedford, Structural Engineer said that “Working with students and supporting them in their early career is very rewarding and it is unusual to have such a great and ambitious community project to take part in”.
Merchistoun Hall are thrilled to have this project underway, and to date funding to the value of £3,500 has been secured for materials with a Developers Contributions Grant of £15,000 currently being considered. this will cover the cost of the building materials and provide the students with some tools of the trade to keep in return for taking part.
There are also further sponsors who have committed:
GS Scaffolding – kindly offered to provide scaffolding for the structure
PC Contractors – Are keen to support the project
Linden Homes – Are also keen to support, but the exact nature to be confirmed
Bourne Steel – Are hoping to provide the steelwork for the project
Keep an eye on http://www.horndeanmatters.com to see how this progresses.