The building project came in on-time (almost!) and within budget (definitely!) thanks to Gelder & Kitchen and Hobson & Porter.
The following excerpts have been taken from the Business Plan which was written as we began on our major £2.2 million building project.
For a fuller explanation and details of the building project, go to www.opensourcecommunity.net to download the Business Plan and funding applications for the project. Summary of the Options Appraisal [why we needed a new building]
The Community Church (initially known as North Hull Christian Fellowship) was established in 1980 by a group of local people. As the congregation expanded we started renting facilities but it became apparent that the church needed both an administrative centre, a venue to meet in, and a place to host the small number of community projects that had been established.
In 1992 the church bought the Lutheran Church Building situated on the corner of Newland Avenue and Cottingham Road in Hull. The building was modified to accommodate 170 people and the adjoining manse converted into offices, dining room, kitchen and conference room. Soon after purchasing and renovating the building, more community projects were established.
By 1997, a total of 9 projects were in operation: Carers & Toddlers, Crisis Pregnancy Centre, Eternal Benefits Furniture, Hull Lighthouse Project, Kingstown Friendship Club, RESPECT, Rhema Youth Works, Sport & Arts Projects, Youth & Summer Clubs.
In 1998, it became clear to the project workers/users that the building was reaching full capacity and other options would have to be considered to allow for growth and future development. In the spring of 1998, the leadership team carried out an initial appraisal which identified the need to find a venue that could accommodate the growing community involvement and give a facility that could accommodate large groups of people and activities. This initial appraisal was used as a basis for research into the options available.
Over a period of 3 years a variety of options were considered including: Doing nothing. Using other local buildings. Refurbishment of the current building. Selling the building and leasing new premises. Selling the building and purchasing a new site. Demolishing and rebuilding on the current site. During this time staff, volunteers and project users were involved in informal discussions and consultation about the options available.
In 2001, a more comprehensive participatory appraisal exercise was carried out involving workers and beneficiaries from all the community projects. This was written up as a report by an experienced researcher, and formed the brief that was given to architects in February 2001. The eventual decision to demolish and rebuild on the current site was made in 2001. The key issues were value for money and the needs of the beneficiaries".
In 2001, we were granted outline planning permission to demolish the present building and redevelop the whole site. That kick-started our building project, but it took us another 4 years before we had raised the money to demolish and rebuild.
In 2005, we got the go-ahead and at Easter we had our last church service in the old building (click here to see pictures). By August 2005, the main contractor started on site, and the building finally opened to the church on 25th June 2006. We were thrilled that the project came in on time (just about) and within budget (most definitely!).
Further excerpts from the Business Plan:
Why we need a new building: Although we continue to accommodate projects as they grow, we have now reached breaking point with our facilities. In the last 5 years the church/projects have increased their number of employees from 4 to 27. Our offices are overflowing, our community spaces are too small, our facilities are inadequate and there is no room for growth or development. Despite the benefits of us working together, some of the projects may have to look for alternative accommodation unless we can offer more space soon. In order to assess local needs we brought in a team of community researchers in February 2001. Their findings, as well as ongoing consultation, formed the basis for the proposed redevelopment. All the projects intend to recruit extra staff and volunteers, and open more sessions, thanks to the increased capacity of the new building. Our goal is to work with 8,000 people by helping them to re-engage with society, rebuild self-esteem and move out of poverty, isolation and exclusion.
Aims of redevelopment: To provide full disabled access including a lift, ramps, services, wide doors, and a hearing loop. To create jobs through the various projects. To vastly increase space and improve the layout of the building. To have better facilities for administration and management through a large office complex, providing integrated IT, graphics facilities, storage, meeting rooms and a joint resource centre. To provide a fully equipped conference room, training rooms and other multi-functional rooms. To run a crèche for the children of staff, volunteers and project users. To create space for a drop-in for the Crisis Pregnancy Centre, but also for debt counselling, health promotion and sessions with other professionals. To create a large auditorium/sports hall for use by Summer Club, Kingstown Friendship Club, Carers & Toddlers, Rhema Youth Works; and as an affordable community meeting space. To build a large kitchen and café area for use by the projects and local community."