Renovations to the Courthouse
In September 2015, the Community Council leased the old courthouse to KAVA, on the understanding that KAVA would maintain it. The courthouse is a listed building, which means that there are certain restrictions on any renovations or changes made to the fabric of the building. Because of this KAVA engaged an architect with specialist building conservation knowledge, to carry out a thorough survey of the condition of the building and to make recommendations as to what repairs were needed. This report has been our guide when planning and having works carried out.
To begin with, the main room was stripped of its old light fixtures and heaters. New lighting and heaters have now been installed. Some minor carpentry and plastering was necessary, and the walls and the woodwork have been painted white. Once this was done we opened to the public in December 2015 with a group exhibition.
There was a major problem with dampness on two of the external walls in the main room. This was addressed in the summer of 2016 when works were done on the roof. An inner glass door was put in, to provide a draught lobby at the main front door, which is at the north end of the building. The outside of the building has been power-washed and a new outside light installed. The front windows have been stripped, re-puttied and painted. Where needed this work was done by professionals, and paid for with money raised by KAVA, but wherever possible the labour was provided by volunteers. In the main room, a hanging system has been installed for displaying paintings and other art works.
As well as the large open room, there is a second entrance lobby, which leads into a small kitchen area. There is also a back extension housing two toilets. These toilets were built around 35 years ago. This extension is currently in very poor condition and needs extensive works to bring it to an acceptable standard. Of the two doors which open out onto the street, the one at the south end of the building is in a very poor condition and will need to be restored or replaced. We are planning a new sign for the front of the building, and one at the top of the street to indicate to newcomers where they can find us.