This page summarises the status of the hall, and outlines some of the outstanding maintenance issues, and a high level overview of works proposed to be undertaken over the next decade.
Note that *** indicates priority jobs.
Works in recent years
Considerable work has been done in the hall since the group was reformed in 2009. A summary of the major works are as follows:
- Paving out the front and rear of the hall
- Electrical rewire and check, new energy efficient lights and new safety lights downstairs
- Plumbing check, new hot water heater, new rain water tank and pump, energy efficient fittings
- New fire exit lights throughout
- Almost new kitchen with a new stove and relatively new oven and dishwasher
- Painting throughout, notice boards
- A lot of new furniture
- Removal of many tonnes of rubbish
There have been quite a few major working bees over the past few years, the first was in 2012 when the kitchen was installed, a few in 2013 when Lend Lease provided an enormous amount of support as part of Community Day 2013. More recently the group was very fortunate to receive a NSW Government Community Building grant which paid $12,000 of the $16,000 cost of our new hall floor which was installed in July 2014.
One of the highest priority tasks is to remove asbestos from the building. An audit was conducted in September 2013 by Airsafe which identified the areas and also outlined the findings of their risk assessment. A quote has been obtained to remove all asbestos which was for a little under $7,000. Asbestos exists in the following locations:
- Ceilings of the meeting room, store room, kitchen and bathroom
- Partition walls downstairs
- Eaves surrounding the hall
- Under the floor of the upstairs bathroom
This is considered a high priority, and particularly suitable for grant funds. The Act requires that an asbestos register is displayed. It is located on the hall managers notice board immediately inside the front door. Complete removal of all asbestos requires that the upstairs bathroom be demolished. The recommendation was that the material can remain in place provided it is not disturbed. The recommendation in accordance with Safe Work Australia is that it be managed in accordance with the Code of Practice: How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace [December 2011] Safe Work Australia. The Act also requires that the asbestos materials be labelled.
The Lend Lease team of electricians has conducted a safety audit of the hall and have completed all electrical safety works. Some low-priority tasks remain (such as emergency lights in bathrooms etc); however these are only required if the hall is ever used for sleeping purposes. It is desirable to add some additional GPO’s in the hall however this is a relatively low priority job. There is a water tap located downstairs that is located within the prohibited zone of the switchboard which needs to be relocated.
The downstairs bathroom is in fairly urgent need of renovation. The existing bathroom measures about 2.8 x 3.2 metres. The existing bathroom is perhaps 40 years old. The plan is to remove the old concrete urinal and concrete shower and then convert existing male bathroom into two smaller male/ female showers. This needs to be done after the upstairs bathroom because of the Fibro / Asbestos in the floor of the upstairs bathroom. This is a job for a builder requiring the complete set of trades i.e. plumber, tiler, electrician for a few hours prior to the demolition, then the full set of construction trades. If the job is done properly, it will also include emergency lights to comply with the relevant Scout Policy. Our estimate is that this job will cost about $10-15,000.00
The upstairs bathroom is in fairly urgent need of renovation. The existing bathroom measures about 2.5 x 3.5 metres. The existing bathroom is perhaps 40 years old. The plan is to remove the old shower and then convert existing single bathroom into two smaller male/ female toilets. This needs to be before the downstairs bathroom because of the Fibro / Asbestos in the floor of the upstairs bathroom. This is a job for a builder requiring the complete set of trades i.e. plumber, tiler, electrician for a few hours prior to the demolition, then the full set of construction trades. If the job is done properly, it will also include emergency lights to comply with the relevant Scout Policy. Our estimate is that this job will cost about $10-15,000.00.
There are a few proposed jobs in the car park.
- The first project is to fix the existing kerb, pour a new kerb and gutter and a ramp at the same time. The concrete ramp will be about 2.5m x 5.0m x 0.2m (thick) with steel mesh reinforcing. We will need about 3 cubic m for the ramp and gutter repair, and possibly Council permission. This will make it far easier for cars to use the area at the south of the hall. The cost estimate is about $5,000.
- The second proposed idea is to lay pavers / bitumen and make a proper carpark. There are a number of ways that this could be done, concrete pavers would be ideal or even bitumen. The cost estimate is about $10,000.
- It is also desirable to replace the existing bollard.
Council are currently assisting with landscaping the car park area and with planting. The concept is native plantings with three tall trees and remaining mid to low size shrubs to be visually pleasing as well as providing additional habitats for little critters and birds. Featuring several mid sized sandstone blocks and the old iron ‘press’. Key elements are:
- Logs to be manoeuvred to create a complete border around the garden bed length. They will also ‘contain ‘the ‘triangle’ next to the driveway.
- Rubbish and rubble (glass bottles, bits of metal and the like) to be removed from the garden beds. Tarmac is not good for plants.
- Sheep manure (5 bags coming fresh from the country) will be dug into the soil to provide some added nutrients. If anyone also has compost that can be added too but natives don’t like too much help in that regard.
- Bark chip to be spread across the garden bed (including the triangle next to the driveway) as mulch and weed suppressor. Need rakes / buckets.
- Features: stones (requested but not yet approved) and press (whose is this, can we use it, it is beautiful and would look good hidden in our garden) to be manoeuvred into place.
- Planting: approx 150 tube stock to be provided by Council, which will also provide Peter levers, trowels and gloves. Each hole to have native fertiliser (I have a tub of this) then watered. There is a tap with no ‘handle’ outside the roller door – can this be fixed so that hose can be used or is there an outlet inside? Do we have a long hose?
- Watering: regular watering by scouts / parents each Monday / Thursday
- Protect the pump with a security cage or similar screen
Roof and the Ceiling
The roof of the scout hall is a fairly flat colour-bond roof on a light timber frame and is reaching the end of its service life. A recent work party (August 2014) patched some rusty holes with silicon but the roof will need to be replaced within the next 5-10 years. There are a number of areas where rust has created a hole completely through the colourbond. Silicon patches will not last for long. Indicative costs …. the roof measures about 22m long * 9.7m wide i.e. 215 square metres. “Colourbond Ultra” sheeting (0.48mm thick) costs about $35 per square metre. We will need to replace the sarking, some of the battens, etc at the same time and then there is the cost of ridge capping, valleys etc. Materials cost is likely to be well over $10,000 so the indicative cost estimate is perhaps $20,000.
The group parents have often discussed what could be done to improve the general appearance of the hall, while keeping costs low. The most expedient solution likely to achieve the best result at minimal cost is to line the existing high raked ceiling. This would cover the existing sarking. We would install insulation at the same time. Budget permitting we could also install skylights. The cost estimate for about to install skylights and Gyprock about 160 square metres of ceiling (between the existing roof frames) is about $20,000. This is a very cosmetic project, well down the list of priorities.
Logically the whole roof will need to be replaced, and possibly the ceiling done at the same time.
One of the issues with the hall is that Scout Policy currently prevents kids sleeping in the hall, this is a popular activity but policies prohibit it from occurring. The policy has a number of requirements but essentially:
- The part of the floor where the hall is two-storeys i.e. where there is storage below needs to be fire rated. The flooring needs to have a Fire Resistance Level of 30/30/30. What this means is that a layer of fire rated Gyprock lining needs to be installed in the ceiling downstairs, and also the end wall. This is an area of close to 100 square metres.
- The policy also requires that panic bars be fitted to the fire exits
- Emergency lights are also required.
- Our estimate is that the total cost will be close to $20,000.
Other miscellaneous jobs downstairs are as follows:
- The electrical code requires that the tap be relocated from under the switchboard to the outside wall (or else removed completely). ***
- The window with glass bricks needs to be finished
- The fire door to the car park needs to be replaced (it measures 1025mm x 2060mm)
- A Security grille for the glass brick window downstairs has been purchased, but not installed
- Graffiti removed
Front of hall
There are quite a few little jobs out the front of the hall:
- The fire pit needs to be constructed
- Drainage completed
- Stairs are required or a balustrade needed to replace the temporary log wall at the edge of the pavers
- Seating for the kids (and also parents waiting to collect kids)
- A flagpole has been suggested
The final details have not been resolved, the highest priority is to provide either stairs or a balustrade.
Council are currently assisting with landscaping the front of the hall as well. The concept is to provide some additional native plants for screening and beautification. The main tasks are:
- Large sandstone block – have been mini-craned in by council and placed in garden areas around the hall. The idea is that these will add structure to the garden, and habitat for native animals etc.
- Edging: logs to be placed along the kerbside (but not where they will be in the way of parking cars) to create an edge
- Manure and mulch – as above
- Planting – as above – will be a smaller number of plants including some pretty vines – eg Hardenbergia? which will help screen without blocking the view of the log wall. How to water out front.
Some of the ideas to improve the hall are as follows:
- Purchase some additional chairs
- Construct “Patrol Boxes” or bench seats along one or more of the walls
- Create a rock-climbing “traversing wall” around the east wall of the hall (although this is not well supported by all the leaders) and there are Scout Policies that apply.
- Create a window between the hall and the meeting room
- Fix the fireplace beam to the fireplace
- Install some (large) electric or gas heaters for winter
These are all relatively low priorities.
One of the biggest single jobs we have done in recent years was to install a new timber floor. This was a big job and cost $16,000 of which we received $12,000 from the NSW Government. The Group was very grateful to receive a grant from the NSW Government in January 2014 as part of Round V of the Community Building Partnership Grants. The grant was for $12,000.
The background is that the original floor was more than 40 years old; but structurally still quite strong. To save cost we simply installed the new floor over the top of the old floor. The new floor is a red ironbark and should last 50 years if we look after it.
There are a few little jobs left in the kitchen, one of them is to install a new kitchen exhaust fan that vents externally. Other little jobs are to:
- Install new Lino for the kitchen floor (perhaps $3,000)
- Put contact in kitchen cupboards
- Finish the silicon around the tiles
Roof and eaves
The guttering needs maintenance, Gutter-guard has been purchased but not yet installed. However, this is now a relatively safe job because roof Install roof safety anchors have been installed.
The roof safety anchors should be inspected annually.
The eaves needs to be replaced, to remove the asbestos.
The ceiling needs to be replaced, to remove the asbestos.
The ceiling needs to be replaced, to remove the asbestos.
The group has an annual inspection performed by Scouts in order to check compliance for essential fire services. An Annual Fire Certificate is displayed. Issues identified earlier this year (2013) have now been resolved:
- Evacuation procedure is now displayed
- Emergency contact numbers are provided
Our longer-term big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) goal is to extend the hall. This will likely occur to the south on the first floor. It may include a balcony (with harbour views) and also a room for the future Venturer group. We are actively looking for parents who might be architects to help!