After five hectic weeks of moving and settling in we are finally operating all services and activities back at Centre 404.
Our after school clubs came back last week and we had our first barbeques on the new garden room patio. Our garden volunteers came back on Saturday for their first session after 9 months and gave the grass a good cut and trimmed back the weeds. We have started holding training sessions and amazingly after 2 days of moving back to the basement we held a very successful Carers Health Day event where more than 100 carers attended.
Everyone that has had the opportunity to have a look around and experience the new space has been really impressed with the transformation and are very happy to be back. We are so excited to be able to welcome everyone here again through our new accessible entrance and reception area at the back of the building and we will be celebrating the grand re-opening at our AGM and Summer Garden Party on 19th July!
Thanks again to Borras Construction Ltd and Anne Thorne Architects for all their expertise and hard work to help us achieve our building dreams :-)
The builders are still here finishing off the last of the snagging and we still have to unpack everything but here are a few pictures of the results so far…
A fabulous original wooden floor…
This was hiding underneath some very old and unattractive red lino for many decades. Now restored to its former glory in the old front entrance hall.
I can hardly believe it, it’s time for our staff to move back to our offices at 404 Camden Road once again. On Monday 28th May we will pack up and leave our temporary accommodation on Holloway Road. We will be taking over the ground, first and second floors whilst the builders finish off in the basement and garden.
The place is looking really good. Whilst snagging and final touches are done to the top 3 floors the work in basement is full steam ahead to get the bamboo floor down, kitchens finished and rooms ready. Hopefully we will get the whole building back by mid-June ready for the programme of summer events and activities to start.
The bog at the back of the garden has been drained, the external render is going up, plumbing and electrical work is being signed off and finishing touches are still to do in the basement. We also have the oak pergola to build in the garden, some paving to lay and handrails to install as well as some signage and a new canopy at the accessible entrance to put up.
All things considered everyone has done really well to keep things on target and we are really pleased to be moving back.
Thanks also to Norman Willson who has very discretely managed to come in and install a water-butt to the sheds at the back of the garden, hopefully this will help with our garden maintenance during the drought!
As usual, here are some pics…
Centre 404 staff will be moving back to our premises at 404 Camden Road in just 2 weeks time! Unfortunately the building work in the basement has over-run and so we will be sharing with the contractors for a few weeks whilst they finish all the works to the activity spaces and garden areas. This means our clubs, activities and family carer’s groups will continue to run at various other community venues until work is complete.
Most of the work at the moment is focused on getting mechanical and electrical systems finalised and tested. Once these works are finished the new wooden floors can be laid and the kitchen, garden room and reception office finished.
We have also had some cavity wall insulation put into the old 70’s block , further floors have been laid and the green roofs have now been finished, they look fabulous!
Here are a few pictures to show how things have moved on…
We now have progress with our green roof installations and they are looking fabulous, this wet weather is perfect to help the sedum planting establish and thrive in its new environment.
The hoist has been installed in the Changing Places Toilet and the old fireplaces have been put back up in rooms A and B.
Alarm systems and plumbing systems are in progress also, we hope to have the heating back on in the basement soon so that we can let our new bamboo floor acclimatize before it gets laid.
There is some delay with the external works to the new entrance and with finalising details for handrails and the render to the old 70’s extension block but we will work around this as much as possible.
Here are some lovely pictures of the green roof installations in progress…
Here we are, almost 5 weeks to go and where things have been moving on really well and most of the work is on track we have a few delays in certain areas. This phase of the project is becoming very busy and everyone is trying their best to get everything finished and ready for our planned move at the end of May.
As you would expect for a refurbishment project of this size there are many conflicting deadlines to meet and if one aspect of work gets delayed it can have a knock on effect causing further delays to other pieces of work.
We are also very busy sourcing all the finishes and fittings to make sure that it looks as good as it can when everyone comes back to us at 404. We hope to have a few colourful surprises for everyone and to retain the homely feel that everyone loved so much!
Here are more photo’s of the progress since my last report…
We are moving ever closer to our finish date now and things are progressing really quickly from day-to-day with all the internal fittings and finishes being installed. I can’t believe how well everything is coming together on time, it doesn’t seem like 7 months ago that we moved out, I can hardly remember the old place now and the days of being stuck in the mud during the demolition phase are well and truly over.
We now have an almost fully functional lift with the car and internal mechanics and electrics being tested. Kitchen and garden room kitchenette units are being put in place and flooring is being laid so the rooms are starting to take on some individuality now. We still have some final decision to make and so samples are still coming and we are consulting with everyone to try to get a finish that everyone likes. Painting and decorating on the second floor is moving on well we are now on the final coat in some places.
We are also trying to revive parts of the old building like the marble fireplace and wooden door panels/shutters so that we can keep some of the period features for the future generations to enjoy as well.
We now have a brand new fully fitted boiler room that houses a brand new energy efficient boiler system, storage tank and under-floor heating system. In the attic we have removed the old galvanised steel water tanks and are installing brand new tanks that will feed new plumbing systems around the building.
We had a visit today from the learning and leisure committee and some other people who use our services, feedback was very positive and everyone was really excited to have the opportunity to have a look around. People commented on how much they are looking forward to coming back home to 404 for all the clubs and activities which is really great news!