Events move as Chepstow Drill Hall repairs over-run
5:22pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
AN OBSTACLE in the path of workers repairing Chepstow’s Drill Hall roof has forced organisers to urgently reschedule upcoming events there.
It has been forecast the project, which is costing around £100,000, will take at least three extra weeks to complete.
The hold-up has come about because an additional roof truss needs to be put over the bar area.
Chepstow town clerk Sandra Bushell said: “It’s definitely delayed. It’s disappointing and it will mean some events scheduled won’t be able to take place there.”
Previously it was expected the work would take ten weeks from July 22.
Two months before that date town councillors held a meeting for the much-loved entertainment venue. They heard urgent action was needed because extreme snow or windy weather could have caused the roof to fall in, as its trusses were 277% overstressed and bearing a load three times greater than they should.
Councillors decided to pay out £32,054 for the roof repair, insulation, reconfiguration of one roof truss for better film showings, repair and upgrade of two ceiling extractors, but not a new heating system, adding to £60,000 of funds from Monmouthshire council.
However, after workmen discovered the heating system’s tubes would have to be taken down and put back up in a great upheaval, a later meeting decided to pay for a new one.
It is not known exactly how much this will cost and how long the Drill Hall will be out of action because of the setback.
Events on the move to alternative venues are Chepstow U3A’s monthly meeting for October, Tony Curtis’ ‘The Alchemy of Water’ multi-media event by Chepstow Bookshop on October 3 and a Poetry on the Border event with David Whyte on October 5.
It had been hoped a National Theatre Live production of Othello on September 26 would mark the re-opening of the hall tomorrow, followed by the start of its film season on Friday. Tina Smith, from the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of South Wales, posted on Facebook: “Bad news yesterday morning - the Drill Hall Chepstow is currently without a roof due to repairs that have taken longer than anticipated. I rang around and arranged a new venue at short notice.”
Their open show took place at Earlswood and Newchurch West War Memorial Hall on Sunday. Owner of Chepstow Bookshop Matt Taylor called for the work to be completed as a matter of urgency. “Building works always tend to run over but you just hope that’s factored in at the start. We want it done as soon as possible, I am sure everyone is working to get it open again,” he said.
Treasurer of Chepstow U3A John Whiteside said the group is holding its meetings at the town’s rugby club during the closure.
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