Why we need a new building – – –

Why we need a new building?

St Mark’s Church and Hall is a dual use building erected in 1956 to replace an earlier timber building dating from the 1920s ay a cost of £4000.  It used pre-fabricated concrete  pillars and panels for the walls and a lightweight timber structure for the roof, covered with bituminous felt tiles.  Like many prefabricated buildings of the post war era, it was not expected to have a lifetime of more the 25 to 30 years and now shares their typical symptoms.  A building condition report, made in 2016, identified the following problems:-

  • Cracking in most of the concrete frame columns where water has got in and rusted reinforcing bars.
  • Wet rot in self supporting roof trusses, especially where the bell tower joins the roof.
  • Recent extensive repairs to the felt roof have fixed immediate problems but have a limited life.
  • Heating system is operational but old.  Spare parts are no longer available.

Our photographic evidence, below, shows that the building is living on borrowed time.  We need to recognise that if any of these problems worsen significantly, the building may have to close and that could happen in the next few years.  However, the real problem is that the building does not meet modern requirements and is unsuitable for many of the groups that would like to use it for their activities.  “It was not built for the Twenty First Centre”, as Steve Lincoln, Community Officer for Winchester City Council. has told us.

Images of St Mark's Hall taken in August 2017

Crittal metal single glazed window frames

All the window frames are galvanised iron, single glazed.  They have become warped over the years and do not shut properly.  They are draughty and cold.

Rusted reinforcing bars

Over the years, rain water and frost have caused the reinforcing bars inside the support columns to rust. This has caused severe cracking and weakening of the all the supports.

Kitchen appliances and electricity supply

Both the oven and top rings of the electric stove cannot be used because the electricty supply to the kitchen is not adequate. Only the kettle may be used.

Electricity Supply

The hall was originally supplied with all 3 phases of the electricity supply.  Recently, two of the phases were disconnected because the internal wiring inside the hall was not deemed adequate.  This has impacted on the use of equipment in the hall, particularly the kitchen.