Chapel Building Appeal
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The Chapel Building Appeal (see details here) reached its initial target of £25,000 which triggered the very generous matching contribution of £25,000 from former pupil Gerry Sutton. Of course, the maintenance of the Chapel is an ongoing task and whilst the Trustees are immensely grateful to all donors who have helped us reach this initial target, the appeal goes on to ensure sufficient funds for future decades.
That said, the Trust does have funds to start on some of the projects outlined in the Building Report. Over the summer 2021 a number of quotations were sought to replace one external door and 3 internal doors that are in poor condition. This process has given a preferred supplier, a local joinery company - Lewes Carpentry - and an order has been placed. Given the building is in use most days during term time it will be necessary to fit the work in during one of the vacation periods and the current plan is for the work to be completed in the Easter vacation. This will give a new oak door on the south side of the building, new double doors from the hall into the main body of the chapel and a new fire door on the cupboard that houses the electricity meters. There will also be a replacement of a further door leading from the main body of the chapel into a side room.
The next job that will be tackled is to obtain quotations for repairs to the floor. The original cork tiling has suffered damage in the hall area and a number of replacement tiles are needed. There are also areas in the hall where previous repairs have been made but without following the pattern of the tiling. Lastly, there are areas where the choir stalls were removed that have been repaired with tiles that don't match and this needs to be rectified. Enquiries have been made of two local flooring contractors and it is hoped to meet both on site during March '22 to progress this.
Once these 2 tasks have been completed, we will assess the priorities on the remaining items in the Building Report and commence further work programmes. As the Chapel Trustees are volunteers, it is only possible to tackle the work in discrete lots as we simply don't have the resources to work on a broad range all at the same time. However, we are committed to working through the Building report.
The Chapel Trust through the good offices of one of its trustees who knew a company that specialised in stone cleaning, did present the school with a proposal to clean the exterior of the building. In essence, the proposal was that the company would clean the stonework of the building at no cost with the Chapel Trust contributing about £3500 for the cost of access equipment. The nature of the stone cleaning process required an annual maintenance spray to keep the building pristine and the company made an offer to supply the necessary chemicals at their lowest "Black Friday" price for a minimum of 3 years. The estimated cost of the annual maintenance spray was £1000-1200 p.a. which the proposal suggested would be borne by the school as routine maintenance.
Sadly, the school didn't feel it could commit £1000 - 1200 p.a. ongoing in its current financial circumstances and rejected the proposal. Equally sadly, but perhaps understandably, the company that had made this generous offer withdrew when the proposal was rejected.
The Chapel Trustees will continue to work on possibilities to get the exterior of the building cleaned and to bring the building back to the original design concept.