A History of Our New Building - Our Space

The preschool is a long standing institution in the village  and used to run on a morning only session basis in the village hall. It is managed by a voluntary committee and employs most of its stfaf from the village itself so it is a familar part of village life. The old premises had many disadvantages namely the fact that it was based at the village hall which is a multi user environment and it meant we had to set up and pack up equiment everyday. We were also unable to offer afternoon sessions and the premises is not purpose built. 

The new building has been a dream for this village for over 10 years.

We were given the go ahead from the council to move to the school premises about 3 years ago. Since then there have been meetings every month or so to discuss the plans. Its been very slow! Originally we were given money from council but they were pushing for us to have a temporary pre-fab kind of building, neither the school or the preschool thought this a good idea so we stuck together and said NO! They offered us some money but only enough for a pre-fab, we only had a short space of time to raise the extra cash. We got turned down by the lotto, and the council took their cash back. We threw our efforts into fundraising. Should you have any ideas for fundraising, perhaps the company you work for are credit crunch invincible and have money or resources to burn – please send them our way!

We formed BEST (barton extended school team) and did our best the raise the money. We were then advised to change our name and are now called OUR SPACE. Things have improved since then, the council have now decided to give money to the pre-school and money to kids club which will also be using the building,  meaning we could get on with it.

We appointed Richard Sheen as the project manager. Richard was responsible for the original plans and the new drawings. He has been onboard with this project from the start and as a Bartonian has a local interest in this project.

As part of the “Every Child Matters” government initiative to be in place by 2010 (wraparound care 8am-6pm). Children’s centres are popping up. Ramsey Manor Lower School was earmarked as the sight for our areas children’s centre and they have requested to use our building. This is fabulous news as this will increase the community aspect of our development and also they bring extra funds with them to the pot! The figure has not been set yet but it is thought to be a substantial amount. They will be using the office and the community room and due to the design of the building this will not affect the safety of our children in pre-school.

The council have been increasingly supportive and very keen to have this project built. As a large village our provision for childcare is dated and this puts us quite high on the council’s priority list.

We will share the building with kids club, they will do the before and after school bits and we shall take care of the bits in the middle. We are also going to have a community room where we will be able to do toddlers, health visitors/police surgery/adult ed etc..