dOSH appeal!

We have just launched a "crowd funding" appeal to try and raise £900 in the next month.

Crowd funding is a way for people who care about the Old School Hall to directly support the project. 

We desperately need some 'fighting funds' to keep us going - we will use these to make running repairs to the area around the hall so that it does not fall further into disrepair. Work such as clearing vegetation that is growing into the abandoned structure and cutting back trees which have been causing damage. Whilst our trusty volunteers can do much of the unskilled work, we need to hire equipment and dispose of waste. Some things need qualified and insured personnel who we must pay.

Please, if you can, help us by making a donation now.

We also need money to:

  • support publicity to get more people involved from the area and beyond
  • support events where people can find out more about this incredible building, what it has been in the past and what it could be in the future
  • support us with studies to show how the hall can create an income in the future, to ensure it is never faced with closure again.

We may need to make future appeals for bigger sums of money once the future of the Hall becomes more certain, but for now a modest fighting fund will keep us going.

We have been kept going by local peoples’ dedication and hard work. We have had some success, including commissioning an independent structural engineer's report to show how the building can be made strong again, and getting it recognised as "An Asset of Community Value" by the Council. We have received some small but generous grants, for example from The Renewal Trust, but have for now exhausted those sources of income. 

Please, if you can, help us with a small (or large!) donation.

Back to School! Clean up and measure up all part of the plan...

Our surveyor and architect's report have identified what's pretty obvious really- that nature has been doing it's thing and taking over the outside of the building. So with a grant from the Renewal Trust we were able to get local outfit Growin' Spaces in to clear out the brambles and shrubbery that have been invading the roof tiles and brick joints. 

Before and after views below:

The space facing on to Windmill Park is now looking more shipshape and exterior repairs will be easier to identify and carry out. Some more work is still to do on the most persistent plants, including two trees which will require the Council's approval to remove- letter to the Tree Officer in hand!

Meanwhile local practice 2hD Architecture Workshop have supported the project by carrying out a measured survey and have built a computer model for us- we'll use this to show people round the building (now that we can't physically get inside!), to plan future conversion work and measure up as part of developing a business plan. 

Public meeting announcement: 6th March 7pm at the Hermitage Community Centre

All who have an interest in the future of the Old School Hall are invited to a public meeting on 6th March 2017 at the Hermitage Community Centre, Sneinton Hermitage. The meeting will start at 7pm. (PLEASE NOTE THE NEW START TIME).

Please share the poster image below to your networks and/or print and distribute. We have reached a critical point in our work to save the Old School Hall building for the community and it is important we get a good turn out at this meeting to spread the word. Thank you for helping!

Download poster as colour image (for emailing, social media, web sharing)

Download poster as colour pdf (for printing colour posters/flyers)

Download poster as  black and white pdf (for cheap printing of posters/flyers)

Is the Old School Hall falling down?

Our stated aim is to help save the Old School Hall building and ideally to retain community use of the site. But Rome wasn't built in a day and historic buildings can't be saved at the drop of a hat! We are steadily assembling the building blocks that are needed; you can read about our efforts so far on this previous post.

In this update we want to tell you about another important step - understanding the structural problems that the Council have identified in its reasoning for closing the building down.

Above: Cracking of the brickwork caused by foundation settlement and damp from a leaky gutter

The dOSH committee, with funding from the Old School Hall Management Committee, has commissioned a report from Nottingham engineers Price & Myers. Looking first at the building as a whole, engineer Lois Plaistow was able to narrow down structural problems to a section of the building that has been unused for years, since cracking and settlement was first noticed. The building has been in continuous use with this problem ongoing as it was relatively easy to ensure safety by putting the affected area off-limits. The main hall, kitchen, toilets and office areas have never been affected.

Above: Lois Plaistow of Price & Myers inspecting the foundations in a trial hole at the rear of the building facing Perlethorpe Avenue. In the background, Chris Heuvel of NTU and Stevie Doig of Growin' Spaces.

Untreated (but finally now made safe with some scaffolding), the problem has got worse over time and now requires some underpinning of the foundations and stitching together of the brickwork - relatively simple measures to implement for a permanent solution. Further information on the structural survey findings and remedial measures needed can be obtained by emailing dOSH chair Brian Grundy.

So to the question- is the Old School Hall falling down? The answer is that a small part of the building has had to be stabilised with scaffolding, and will need to be repaired in the future. The bulk of the hall is unaffected by structural problems.

Working with Chris Heuvel, an architect from Nottingham Trent University and local architecture practice 2hD, a condition report has been assembled which identifies the key maintenance and repair work needed to stop further decline of the building, and the space has been measured up to identify the scale of costs and potential for income if the building is reused.

Vegetation from the Windmill Park side of the building continues to grow into the gutters, buttresses and bricks, and through the roof tiles- lifting these to allow water penetration to the interior of the building. This is creating damp problems inside the building which are exacerbated by the lack of ventilation now the building is unoccupied. Like the structural problems, these maintenance issues are relatively easily solved by clearing the vegetation away and making minor repairs to the guttering, roof and brickwork. The Council has confirmed that they won't be doing any of this work so, with the building's ownership and future uncertain, we'll be looking in to ways that further decline can be halted by the community.

Above: Vegetation growing into the roof tiles and missing tiles creating damp in the building

Soon, we will announce another public meeting to show details of what we've been working on and to seek your ideas and support for the next moves. So watch this space for updates!

Many thanks to residents of Perlethorpe Avenue for their assistance with access to the rear of the Hall for our structural inspection.