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Modernising the Gateway Centre
Why modernise? We need to modernise the Gateway Centre to make the accommodation more flexible, user- friendly and sustainable. Your ideas are very welcome. The centre is used constantly for one-to-one discussion and counselling; most days by groups of around 20 people; and every 2-4 weeks for large events with 50-80 people. The two spaces which we have for activities – the main hall on the ground floor and the small basement room - are just not suitable for most of the things which take place today. As the local community group commented, you’ve got one room that’s too big, and another that’s too small”. The principal aim of the modernisation is therefore to create more spaces – small, medium and large – to fit in with users’ needs. The building was designed in the 1950s and has a very dated appearance and layout. The downstairs area was designed as a freestanding children’s clinic and the stairs to the ground floor are steep and unsuitable for children. The downstairs room needs larger windows so that users can see out. The acoustics in the main hall need to be improved. Storage throughout for toys and equipment is completely inadequate. Access to the lower floor for people with disabilities or mobility problems is difficult. Our second aim is therefore to make the building more user-friendly and welcoming. The third aim of our modernisation is to create a more sustainable building. At the moment there is no insulation and the large wooden windows are very draughty. The heating system and lights are outdated. The centre was even featured in a Bath Preservation Trust report as a prominent local building with poor sustainability! And the clock is ticking. The copper roof on the main hall has reached the end of its useful life, while the flat roof on the entrance section has caused repeated problems. The big wooden window frames need to be replaced. The wiring needs renewing. If we cannot improve the building in the next few years, we could face closure. Options for the future The trustees have reviewed options for the future in discussion with users and other local groups. So far four broad options have been identified and we are mounting further consultations to work out the best way forward: Dispose of the site, and use the proceeds to pursue the Trust’s objectives in other ways. We have considered this, but are committed to supporting the local community, and have concluded that we need to retain our presence in the area.    Refurbish the building: new roof, windows and wiring; upgraded kitchen and toilets; bigger windows in the downstairs room to make it pleasanter to use. This is the cheapest option, could be done relatively quickly, and would extend the life of the building by around 10 years. The downside is that it would perpetuate most of the limitations of the 1963 design. Remodel the structure on the existing foundations, which we believe are strong enough to take an additional lightweight storey. This would be the cheapest way to create more space, but it would still be a major capital project, and many aspects of the current layout would continue. Rebuild the centre in partnership with other organisations who would use the new building and contribute to the cost. There would be tailor-made facilities, but this is the dearest of the options. We explored this in 2014 with B&NES Council, and obtained detailed architect’s designs, which can be viewed at the centre. Please let us have your ideas We are reassessing the options in 2015 and would be very glad to hear from any local people or organisations who have ideas for the future of the building.
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Snow Hill Gateway Trust, charity no 1157851. Registered office: 91 Highgate, Longmead Terrace, Bath BA2 3WL
Modernising
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Modernising the Gateway Centre
Why modernise? We need to modernise the Gateway Centre to make the accommodation more flexible, user- friendly and sustainable. Your ideas are very welcome. The centre is used constantly for one-to-one discussion and counselling; most days by groups of around 20 people; and every 2-4 weeks for large events with 50-80 people. The two spaces which we have for activities – the main hall on the ground floor and the small basement room - are just not suitable for most of the things which take place today. As the local community group commented, you’ve got one room that’s too big, and another that’s too small”. The principal aim of the modernisation is therefore to create more spaces – small, medium and large – to fit in with users’ needs. The building was designed in the 1950s and has a very dated appearance and layout. The downstairs area was designed as a freestanding children’s clinic and the stairs to the ground floor are steep and unsuitable for children. The downstairs room needs larger windows so that users can see out. The acoustics in the main hall need to be improved. Storage throughout for toys and equipment is completely inadequate. Access to the lower floor for people with disabilities or mobility problems is difficult. Our second aim is therefore to make the building more user-friendly and welcoming. The third aim of our modernisation is to create a more sustainable building. At the moment there is no insulation and the large wooden windows are very draughty. The heating system and lights are outdated. The centre was even featured in a Bath Preservation Trust report as a prominent local building with poor sustainability! And the clock is ticking. The copper roof on the main hall has reached the end of its useful life, while the flat roof on the entrance section has caused repeated problems. The big wooden window frames need to be replaced. The wiring needs renewing. If we cannot improve the building in the next few years, we could face closure. Options for the future The trustees have reviewed options for the future in discussion with users and other local groups. So far four broad options have been identified and we are mounting further consultations to work out the best way forward: Dispose of the site, and use the proceeds to pursue the Trust’s objectives in other ways. We have considered this, but are committed to supporting the local community, and have concluded that we need to retain our presence in the area.    Refurbish the building: new roof, windows and wiring; upgraded kitchen and toilets; bigger windows in the downstairs room to make it pleasanter to use. This is the cheapest option, could be done relatively quickly, and would extend the life of the building by around 10 years. The downside is that it would perpetuate most of the limitations of the 1963 design. Remodel the structure on the existing foundations, which we believe are strong enough to take an additional lightweight storey. This would be the cheapest way to create more space, but it would still be a major capital project, and many aspects of the current layout would continue. Rebuild the centre in partnership with other organisations who would use the new building and contribute to the cost. There would be tailor-made facilities, but this is the dearest of the options. We explored this in 2014 with B&NES Council, and obtained detailed architect’s designs, which can be viewed at the centre. Please let us have your ideas We are reassessing the options in 2015 and would be very glad to hear from any local people or organisations who have ideas for the future of the building.
· · · · Home What’s on? Hiring Modernising SHG Trust Archive Contact
Snow Hill Gateway Trust, charity no 1157851 Registered office: 91 Highgate, Longmead Terrace, Bath BA2 3WL
Modernising