Building Our School Hall.

Week 1

The first thing that happened was the metal fencing was put up to separate the building site from the rest of the school.

Then they used a digger to lift the grass and put a plastic sheet down. This was covered with road chippings to make a firm and dry road surface.
A roller was used to make it smooth and strong.

Unfortunately, some trees had to be taken down and the climbing equipment was taken out. A crane was used to lift the two builder's cabins and the chemical toilet into place.

It took less than an hour to demolish the storage huts at the back of the school. The rubble was moved to the side and then the men used tape measures to lay out posts and string marking the places where the foundations needed to be dug.

Week 2

They used the smaller bucket on the digger to dig the deep holes needed for the foundations. The holes, or trenches, were about 150 cm deep.

The weather was cold and the ground was covered in a frost.

They also laid down the drainage pipes and put gravel around them to protect them from damage. They used the rubble from the huts to cover the surface between the trenches. (Thanks to Marshalls for the 'High Visibility' jackets, and also for donating all the paving blocks.)

Several cement mixers were needed to pour enough liquid cement into the trenches. One of the workmen used a rake to push the cement around. By the following day, the cement was hard on top, but it would take about a week for it to dry underneath.

Week 3

Once the concrete had dried, they used drills to fix long metal bolts into the concrete.

These bolts had to be put in exactly the right position as they would be used to hold the metal framework in place.

At the end of the week the crane came and the lorry carrying all the steel girders.

The crane lifted them off the lorry, swung them over the garden and fence and round.
It lowered each piece into position and the men used the bolts to fix each piece into position.

By the end of the day, we could see the shape and size of our new hall.

Week 4

A lorry delivered several stacks of bricks and breeze blocks.
Several brick layers arrived and they started work on the lower levels of the walls.

Although the weather was quite cold, they worked quickly and soon completed the first few rows about 50 cm high. They put the bricks on the concrete foundations and outside the metal framework.

We broke up for Christmas, but when we came back, there didn't appear to have been that much work as it looked about the same as it had done when we left.

Week 5

The first thing that happened after the New Year was that a lorry full of scaffolding equipment arrived.

It took the men most of the day to put scaffolding all around the framework. This is needed so that as the brick walls get higher, the bricklayers can go higher and higher.

There is a long orange ladder at one end, where they will have to climb to get up to the higher levels.

Now the hall is nearing completion, and it is hoped to finish the project in July. It will make a huge difference to school life.

The building in June '06

The building completed and ready for opening - July '06

Bishop’s Blessing for Chidham School and Community Sports Hall

After what seems like forever, the new School and Community Sports Hall has finally been finished. The keys for were handed over to Head Teacher Lynda Aplin on Monday 17 th July and the school have been able to make use of the facility for the final week of term. There is still some work to do around the grounds but we will soon all be able to enjoy this fabulous new sports hall. There will be an official opening in September, but meantime we were honoured by a visit from Bishop Lindsay, the Bishop of Horsham, who blessed to hall for us.
He listened to the children perform a selection of songs performed on the new staging. Then he taught us all an African song which the children, staff and parents all joined together to sing and dance to.

We all enjoyed his visit and the children particularly liked it when he showed us his special Bishop’s socks!

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