Completed and Proposed Works
The St Stephen’s Project master-plan provided for a number of works phases with each being financially and organisationally distinct but linked together in a workable sequence.
Phase 1 high level repair (fully funded and works completed)
These works included extensive repair to the main roof and tower.
Phase 2 low level repairs (fully funded ~ works to commence in early 2011)
These works include repair to the Bow roof and all walls. This includes removal of damp penetration and renewal/decoration of internal plaster work.
Phase 3 Refurbishment for shared use
North entrance/internal ramp
Floor of lobby entrance from High Street lowered to street level
Main entrance door extended and architrave renewed
New enclosed glazed lobby allowing access by wheelchair visitors
New internal ramp alongside the north wall for wheelchair access. This will require removal of part of the floor and the provision of appropriate under-floor structural support.
The main body of the building currently has flooring put in place during the 1970’s following removal of the church pews and pew platforms and is inappropriate for heavy community use. The level of the floor varies and to create wheelchair access to the meeting room on ground level, the floor in the tower has to be lowered by about a metre. This is expected to require structural support for the tower walls. The floor in the proposed servery area is also at a different level and requires adjustment.
The floor in the main body of the building is to be raised to permit the introduction of under-floor heating. This requires the removal of the temporary wooden flooring and the introduction of heating fixtures etc. below new heavy-duty lime stone flooring. It is estimated that the main floor needs to be raised about 20 cms. These floor level changes take place in conjunction with the ramp installation and removal of the existing temporary kitchen.
Cupboards/rails are to be introduced to provide protection where the floor and ramp meet.
West end works
Following removal of the existing temporary kitchen a new servery and meeting room is to be introduced.
A new staircase and gallery (replacing a 17th century gallery removed in the 19th century) leading to a second meeting room is to be built.
Gallery space for additional seating is to be provided.
Electrical systems for lighting, heating, and communication are to be installed.
The second currently hidden West window (already repaired on the outside in Phase 1) is to be revealed internally
Phase 4: East end works (completion expected in May 2012)
These works include opening up the ancient St John’s Chapel (the ‘Old Sanctuary’) together with specially designed stairs; providing a raised dais and introducing a heritage information centre together with all-important storage facilities. An opportunity is to be taken to open up the Saxon crypt which lies under the floor at this end of St Stephens and which has not been formally visited since 1826.
Each of the phases of the St Stephen’s Project are independent of one another in terms of funding and works but are linked to provide the totality of the St Stephen’s Project.