Update 11 April 2017
In mid-February 2017 the scaffolding was finally removed from the front of the Sacred Heart Centre after five long years. Whilst the majority of the work was structural as detailed below, the opportunity was taken to undertake selective re-pointing and DOFF cleaning of the stone features on the front of the building undertaken by Corinthian Stone Masonry Ltd of Barry. With 100 years of industrial grime and pollution removed, the building now looks truly stunning. It has been possible for the first time in 5 years to make use of the front doors for several parish and external events.
There is still work to be done to the rear of the building to seal the parapet walls and remove the budlear. In the meantime, repairs to the internal walls and ceilings are underway as far as possible and you will see continual improvements to the interior during 2017. A timescale for repairs to the parapet walls has not yet been confirmed but will require further scaffolding access. Hopefully it will be possible to restore the stonework to the rear of the building to a similar standard to the facade. The exterior window sills are also all bath stone, and may possibly be cleaned of paint to restore another hidden feature of the building.
Scaffolding was provided by J&L Scaffolding, who have also now prepared scaffolding on the church bell tower and sanctuary to enable inspection and repairs to take place during 2017. The project was coordinated by Steve Lomax of One Source Services Ltd Tel 01792 346511, email email@example.com, and the stone work is being undertaken by Corinthian Masonry Ltd Tel 01446 501 694, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Security fencing supplied by Miles Hire Ltd will remain in place until permanent gates and fencing can be installed for the security of the Centre and our next door neighbours.
Update 6 November 2016
Cleaning and pointing of the facade stonework has now been completed and all remaining leaks over the stairwells have now been resolved. Ceiling joists in both staircases have been replaced and are currently being plastered – the first time we have had ceilings in this part of the building for some 4 years! The scaffolding will soon be dispersed partly to the church bell tower and sanctuary for inspection of the roof and brickwork, and partly to the parapet walls at the rear of the Centre. At the same time repairs to the guttering on the Centre will be undertaken, budlear removed, and the tops of the parapet walls made watertight through re-pointing and covering with suitable material.
Various other smaller repairs have been undertaken around the building on a voluntary basis, including draught-proofing exterior doors, woodwork repairs and wall repairs. The wooden screens across the main hall windows have been taken down and will be replaced for noisier functions with removable boards.
Patching of the ceiling in the main hall will be undertaken soon, but has to wait for the repairs to the parapet wall on the roof over the organ.
Update 21 August 2016
A few patches of stonework remain to be cleaned, and some minor snags to complete the roofing are currently being addressed. The bath stone finish really stands out. The unsightly graffiti by the front doors has been ground away. It is hoped that the scaffolding should be coming down by the end of August. Rainwater goods and the rear parapet walls will be dealt with September-October, which will make the building fully watertight. Tweaks to the guttering on the ‘fire escape’ side of the building have stopped the water ingress that has been damaging the interior wall. This has now dried out and will be ready for redecoration soon. The wooden screens do not seem to make much difference to noise levels outside, so hopefully in the near future these can be removed to let more sunlight into the main hall. The stairwells to the gallery are now almost completely dried out and treated for damp, and we hope they can be re-decorated in September/October. The stained glass windows and perspex covers have been cleaned by volunteer parishioners.
It is anticipated that some of the scaffolding will be moved over the road to the church in September to enable inspection and repairs to the bell tower, and also the sanctuary to check the roofing/coping stones to address the long-standing issue of water ingress behind the altar.
In the back hall, the full set of vertical blinds has now been installed by euroblinds, as well as in the side porch area. This should help with keeping the heat in during the winter months.
Update 24 July 2016
Works to the facade of the building are now substantially complete. Repairs to roofing that was damaged 4 years ago with the vandalism and theft of lead from the roof are the final piece of work being undertaken, along with cleaning of the bath stone features. Internally, exposed wood surfaces have been treated with preserver. Once the cleaning of the stone is complete the scaffolding will be removed, hopefully before the end of August. Attention will then turn to the parapet walls at the rear of the building to ensure they are made properly watertight, and to remove the budlear.
Update 23 April 2016
Works continue to proceed quickly with the continued dry weather conditions. Dismantling of the right-hand tower has now been completed and rebuilding has commenced. The internal wall is now almost completed, and will soon be ready for the facing stone to be put back and roofing repairs inside the walls to be completed. This will stop all water ingress on the staircases to the gallery. Once walls have had some time to dry, we can start to look at replacing the ceilings and redecorating the damaged plaster.
As noted in the last update, once the right tower is completed in the next couple of weeks, re-pointing of the central area of the facade will be done. Guttering and the rear parapet walls will then be looked at.
Update 12 April 2016
We are pleased to report significant progress is now being made with the improved weather. The left hand tower looking at the front of the building is now rebuilt and re-pointed with only internal repairs to the roof now required and is looking really good. Dismantling of the right hand tower commenced today using the rubble chutes attached to the scaffolding. As with the right hand tower, the defective internal stonework is being replaced with breeze blocks, and the decorative stone then re-laid and pinned back with stainless steel bolts. Once this second tower is completed, the central area of the facade will be re-pointed and damaged lead and render work repaired. Attention will then turn to the parapet walls at the rear of the building and updating the guttering/drain pipes which will stop the water damage to the walls and ceilings around the interior of the building. Once the walls have had time to dry, internal repairs will be completed a bit at a time.
Update 17 January 2016
Progress has been hampered due to almost continual rain for the past 3 months. Due to unfortunate delays in works starting, work is taking place at the worst time of year for external building works. As a result, the stone masons can only work when a clear patch of weather can be reasonably expected. The budget for the project is very tight, so workers time has to be carefully managed. The left hand tower is now almost complete and is ready for new replacement leadwork to be installed. The right hand tower will shortly be dismantled and rebuilt to the same level, then leadwork will be completed to both sides, and the capstones replaced. The staircases will then be completely watertight.
Keep checking back for updates in the coming weeks.
Update 10 October 2015
Repairs to the left hand ‘tower’ at the front of the Centre have now started. Attention will then turn to the right hand tower and central gable. The end result will ensure the facade is fully watertight and sound.
The project is being coordinated by Steve Lomax of One Source Services Ltd Tel 01792 346511, email email@example.com, and the stone work is being undertaken by Corinthian Masonry Ltd Tel 01446 501 694, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update 12 September 2015
The scaffolding at the front of the building has now been ‘tied’ into the facade with bolts ready for the partial rebuild and re-pointing to commence. We are grateful to J&L Scaffolding for their ongoing support for the project.
The deposit to the stone masons has been paid and work is due to start imminently. The left-hand tower (looking at the front of the building) will be worked on first, followed by the second tower. Estimated time for completion of this work is November 2015.
Update 1 May 2015
Scaffolding board across the whole facade have been renewed and safety netting added. Security fencing remains in place. Further inspections have been undertaken this week. Further scaffolding will be added to enable stonework repairs to be undertaken. There is serious water damage so the works will take some time to complete.
Update 26 April 2015
Board replacement to the scaffolding to the right hand ‘tower’ of the building facade will take place Monday and Tuesday this week. Once the scaffolding is tagged, it is hoped the stone masons will start stonework repairs on Wednesday.
Update 6 April 2015
Subject to safety checks and board replacement on the scaffolding, the programme of external repairs to the Sacred Heart Centre will commence Monday 20th April 2015.
Update 8 March 2015
We are pleased to confirm that the Diocesan Trustees have given approval for the essential external and internal repairs to the Sacred Heart Centre to proceed. The successful contractor is One Source Services, 422A Killay Precinct, Gower Road, Swansea SA2 7AJ. The timetable for the works will be published shortly.
Update 6 February 2015
Temporary repairs to reduce water ingress around the facade of the building have been completed. A final decision from the Diocesan Trustees on the preferred contractor to enable repairs to commence is anticipated Wednesday 11th February 2015.
Update 16 January 2015
Damaged hinges on the external fire exit doors at the back hall have been replaced.
Update 28 December 2014
Whilst the decision on the contractor for the repair work is awaited from the Diocese, permission has been granted for temporary repairs to the roofs of the stairwell towers to prevent further damage from water ingress. A final decision is hoped for during January 2015, so that full repair work can commence during January.
Update 23 November 2014
Over the past few weeks a range of maintenance tasks have been completed around the building, including:
- replacement ceiling tiles over the stage in back hall
- repairs to parquet flooring on stage in back hall
- repairs to wall mounted fixtures in back hall
- de-cluttering and removal of debris in back hall
- replacement of light bulbs throughout the building
- clearing, cleaning and re-arrangement of the larger of the two upstairs meeting rooms which is now available for use
- replacement of damaged glass and locks in main hall, kitchen and upstairs storage room
As of 20th November,three quotations from local firms have been submitted to the Diocesan Finance Committee for review in the next few days. We intend for repair work to commence before Christmas, which will include:
- re-configuration of security fencing
- re-boarding of scaffolding
- making the façade of the building watertight (re-alignment of stone work, re-pointing of brickwork, repair and replacement of lead work and cleaning)
- re-sealing parapet walls over the organ and back end of the building
- treatment of areas of blown plaster in stairwells, main hall and affected areas of the back hall and upstairs rooms
- replacement of damaged areas of ceiling in front stairwells, main hall and rear of the building
- treatment for woodwork against fungal, insect and damp attack where required
- repair of all fire exit doors and locking mechanisms, including main doors to front of the building
- install ballustrades and gates to front area of the building to improve security
Once the main repairs are complete, there will be a need for the building to have time to dry out before final re-plastering and decoration. Please note this may take several months to complete. The intention is for repairs to be phased to ensure the building can remain in use as much as possible.
Update 24 August 2014
PAT Testing of all portable electrical appliances in the Centre was completed this week by UK Safety Direct. Users of the Centre should please ensure that any electrical equipment brought into the building has been PAT tested before use for safety and to avoid invalidating insurance cover should an electrical fault occur.
Update 20 August 2014
Security fencing has been installed around the front area of the building to prevent unwanted access to forecourt area and scaffolding. This is a temporary measure until repair works commence. Funds raised now total £30,150, leaving £19,850, again sincere thanks to all involved in the fundraising effort. Testing of the fire alarm system was completed this week, and damaged sockets in the left-wing by the stage in the main hall have been repaired.
Update 13 August 2014
We are grateful to the Diocese of Menevia for giving the parish permission to go into debt temporarily to enable repairs to the Centre to take place. We have so far raised £28,000 towards estimated phase 1 repair works of £50,000. Thanks to all involved in the fundraising effort so far. Phase 1 repairs will include:
- repairs to the façade of the building and as a result of theft of lead from above the stairwells at the front of the building
- re-sealing the roof at both ends of the main hall and back hall
- repairs to ceilings as a result of water damage
- repairs to several window frames on residential side of the building
- repairs to ceilings and walls where water ingress has caused damage
Once these works are complete, the inside of the building will need some time to dry out completely. Repairs to damaged plaster will then be undertaken, and finally redecoration. We are currently compiling a specification for the works, and seeking three quotations for presentation to the Diocesan Finance and Property Committee. Once this is signed off, repair works will commence, hopefully in September. Prices are also being sought from our scaffolder to reinforce the existing scaffolding, and add further scaffolding at key points on the building. In the meantime, arrangements are being made to install temporary security fencing to prevent further youth annoyance and mess, which will be installed week commencing 18th August 2014. The Centre will remain open during the repair works, but hirers are asked to note any safety advice once works commence. Further advice will be posted in the side foyer of the building and on this web page.