Project Summary                                        May 2018  

It's Going Up! 11.5.18 Latest pics show vapour barrier in place and battened ready for cladding to front of building, mezzanine window in place, roof felted, battened and roofing tiles being laid.

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25.4.18 Photos below show roof timbers in place, frosted mezzanine window in place over front door and walls going in

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Beginning of April -- The steel framework is now all in place, the first brickworks are in, showing the lower room layouts and the external studwork has been started. Service supplies and foul drainage are in. Unfortunately the build is a week behind schedule as once the old build was removed the slab was found to be cracked at both ends and had to be extended.

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6.4.18 above looking to main door, external studwork of camp store to the left,
below 18.3.18 laying slab extension for Camp Store
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THE BACKGROUND

Girlguiding Kidlington used to meet in a concrete prefabricated building located down an alleyway that connects Green Road with the Oxford Road in Kidlington. We're now, thanks to a very generous loan from Cherwell District Council, rebuilding on the same land which is owned by us.

The building acts as ‘home’ to some 250 girls, young women and Leaders who meet on a weekly basis. It's also home to our Trefoil Guild – these are members over 18, who for one reason or another, are no longer able to commit to weekly meetings but still wish to retain their links to the Guiding movement.

The History of our search for an affordable building

In 2007 our then District Commissioner, Yvette Dodd, suggested we think seriously about rebuilding our Guide Centre. 
The building was then 35 years old, having been opened in 1973, and in dire need! The concrete was degrading, the wooden doors and windows starting to rot and the asbestos cement roofing panels were starting to sag under their accumulation of years worth of moss. Vandalism had been a major problem in the past leading to the boarding up of all the windows on the wall adjacent to the alley. Then in 2004 squirrels got into the roof damaging the building even further. 

A Feasibility study was carried out in 2008 and although other sites were looked at, a decision was made to rebuild on our existing site. A Fundraising Committee was formed and in 2010 once the sum of £20,000 had been raised, a Building Committee was formed, Four Architectural Practices were interviewed and Blackwood Architects appointed to design our new Centre.

There then followed a long hard six years of fundraising - with many people and organisations contributing both financially and with their time, bringing us to an incredible total of £100,000 in 2014. Sadly, this still fell well short of the target needed for a complete rebuild, so faced with the decision of fundraising for many more years to come, and with planning permission about to run-out, we decided, in October 2014, to look at revamping the existing building instead. Our Architect was approached, he redrew the plans and suggested we'd only need approximately another £60,000 to refurbish our Centre...

Hurray we thought!!  Unfortunately we then discovered that we'd have to pay VAT at 20% on any refurbishing. Building from scratch incurs no VAT.  We were torn!!!!
So more sleepless nights and head scratching, but in 2016  we managed to get in some tenders for the refurbishment. Most Builders didn't want to quote once they saw the access problems, but eventually we got a couple, one for £303,000 (WOW!!) and one (as our Architect suggested) for £158,000. Unfortunately, then we have to add that 20% VAT!! Even more unfortunately the latter Firm then went out of business!!

So more tenders were sought: ID Developments quote -- Refurbishment £472,920, New Build £446,800 NIGHTMARE!!!!  However, late 2016 Moors Construction of Kidlington put in a tender of £195,000 for a rebuild.. In discussion with our Architect, Stuart Clark of Moors Construction suggested a lower specification building, still including a sleeping loft, but with a much reduced ground floor meeting room, and same size kitchen.  We replied with a 'letter of intent', basically saying that if we could raise the £75,000 needed we'd go with him. So --- more plans to draw up and on with the grant applications.
In January 2017 we decided we'd have to have a new boiler!!! However Stuart thought he could reuse it in the new building. It cost more (should have guessed) than estimated, partly because the kitchen wall had to be reinforced (for a building we wanted to knock down)!! Then still desperately trying to fundraise in May 2017 we had an interesting offer from Cherwell District Council - the possibility of a loan from them. There were quite a few hoops to go through... but in November 2017 Cherwell offered us a £100,000 loan and rather reluctantly we decided to accept. We then had to find an alternative meeting place for the up to 10 months the build would take and to get the footpath closed but in January 2018 it all came together and we're now on track.

Of course we will need to repay the loan (the agreement gives us 30 years) so the Fundraising has to continue but while we may feel as if we've been doing it for ever at least with this option we'll have a building to do it from!

New plans!
Plans.jpgPlans-_elevations.jpgIf you'd like to see more detailed copies of the plans please use our Contact Sheet.

Below: Photos of the demolition 3rd February 2018 -- only a partial roof left!

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All plans and drawings courtesy of Paul Schwartz of Blackwood Architects, Aylesbur

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5th Kidlington Brownies decorating christmas crafts in our Centre in 2015

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Rainbows celebrating Chinese New Year 2016

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Trefoil Guild Annual Lunch in our Centre March 2016

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Horizon at a Court of Awards Evening at Brill Windmill June 2017.