Thursday 6 August 2020

A look inside Mapledurham Pavilion

I was thrilled to check out the progress of the comprehensive refurbishment of Mapledurham Pavilion in July.

View east across the hall, entrance from car park RH corner
The photo to the left shows the main hall. It remains the same size, though without the walls and ceilings in place the wood gives the allusion of a smaller space.  The main entrance from the car park is in the far right corner (to the right of the propped-up orange door). 

Straight ahead are the spaces where two mirror image FA standard football changing rooms are being created. This is a conversion of the old storage rooms and kitchen, as well as a small extension. Access will only be from the western side of the Pavilion through an exterior door to each one, with a wall between them and the hall. 

On the left hand side of the photo you can see the steels - the sole remaining feature from the Warren & District Residents Association's (WADRA) refurbishment in 2019. These gaps will have glazed doors with exterior security shutters. It will be fabulous to have the views across the playing fields restored and improved after over 20 years! Back when my two were little and I ran the parent and toddler group 'Escape', the council boarded up the old, rotting windows following several broken windows.  

New flooring will be going down as there was asbestos under the lino that was laid in 2019. The Football and Tennis clubs both agreed with me that it was sensible to eradicate the asbestos at this opportune time rather than store up problems for the future.

New kitchen
The photo to the left shows the space where the new kitchen will be. You can see that two large serving hatches are being created - one for serving the main hall, the other - which will have security shutters - for serving events on the playing fields.
The kitchen is a much more generous size than the old one and also benefits from having two doorways. These improvements should make it fit for catering for large events.

WADRA is paying for kitting the kitchen out with appliances using money fundraised (from residents and Festival Republic's donations).

Storage room off hall
In the hall's north-east corner is a door to what will be a large storage room for the hall's regular user groups (see right).

Widened, reconfigured corridor
Next to the storage room will be a door to a widened, reconfigured corridor giving access to the kitchen, the men's/women's/and accessible loos and the Tennis Club's room.

The corridor also leads to the old changing rooms which are being converted into two rooms available for hire for meetings or other small events. 

Two large windows have been made in the wall facing out onto the car park, transforming the dark cramped old changing rooms into inviting, light spaces. 

View into new meeting room
You can see into the first one in the photo to the left (viewed from the corridor with the doorway to it straight ahead and at the far end of the room the two large windows).

According to the council officers - who have been doing an excellent job overseeing the project - the works should be finished ready for the Pavilion to re-open this October. Hopefully by then covid-19 restrictions will have eased further and the user groups and others in our community will be able to make full use of it.

The improvements have been funded predominantly by Department for Education money paid to the council (Trustee of Mapledurham Playing Fields) as part of the legal agreement for building The Heights School.