News and Articles
16 November 2016
Steve Williams, who leads the Refresh team, updates us on developments for Refresh Phase 2.
I really cannot believe that it is November already and plans for Christmas have been finalised (not mine, Above Bar Church’s!). Time really flies and it is now six months since I last wrote a blog post for Refresh 2. You are probably all wondering what has been happening. Many of you have either donated to Refresh 2 or have pledged to do so, and other than a few drawings on the notice boards around the church building, nothing else appears to have happened.
Last time, I warned you that there was a lot of work to do behind the scenes before there would be any sign of action on the ground. Let me updated you with what has happened, what is happening now, and roughly what our timetable is going into 2017.
Designs and surveys
A series of options for the atrium, and the entrance porch were drawn up and presented to the Leadership Team back in June. You can see the selected options on notice boards around the building. The designs feature a structured glass atrium and sliding doors across the front entrance. These options were selected as they improve the visibility of the building, and modernise and brighten the entrance. In addition, the entrance will have cleaner lines by removing the outer covered porch area. Southampton City Council approved these plans in October, free of conditions, which is a great outcome. So let us thank the Lord for His hand in this.
Lift professionals have carried out a detailed survey of the lift, so we now know the scale of the task ahead. We hope to go to tender for the lift refurbishment early in 2017, and have the work carried out late spring.
In addition, lighting designs have been produced and are now being refined prior to presentation to the Leadership Team at the end of November. Mark Jones has joined the team to oversee the signage and give his professional opinion on the lighting. The main objective is to ensure that the entrance and atrium are well lit and look inviting.
It’s all very exciting, but none of the plans could be taken forward without the finance being in place, so a gift period for Refresh was held back in July. We are thrilled that so many of you have put your hands in your pockets and we now have approximately 90% of the funds in place. This allows us to proceed to tender with confidence. Any shortfall will either be covered by further gifts, grants form charitable trusts, or by scaling back the replacement of the Ogle Road windows.
We were all thrilled when Chukuma Dibigbo offered to construct a scale model of how the building will look after Refresh 2. He is doing this as part of his degree course, so hopefully we will all be able to see the model early in 2017.
Tender documents need to be finalised in the next couple of months. Then in February or March 2017, we plan to invite tenders and review the responses, with the aim of appointing a contractor in April or May 2017. Then – providing the selected contractor can schedule us in – we hope to see work commence on site from June 2017, with completion by the end of September 2017. Exciting times!
Please continue to pray for the team: Chris Chanter, Hannah Chanter, Derek Chaplin, Fiona Hudd, Mark Jones, Kevin Kirk, John Leaver, David Leighton, Ben Taylor, and Ben Thomas.