28 June 2013
Jersey Property Holdings (JPH) has now completed the first two phases of the refurbishment project at the St James Centre. The former school has been converted to provide facilities for the Youth Service and scaffolding to the tower has been removed.
The project is being undertaken by Jersey Property Holdings on behalf of Education Sport and Culture and will provide greater opportunities for young people and a more efficient base for Youth Service operations. It will bring together several parts of the Service, including the management team and the centre currently in La Motte Street.
The refurbishment will also enable the expansion of the Prince’s Trust and Duke of Edinburgh awards, as well as continued development of the music programmes for young people. In future, events like Gig School and Junior Battle of the Bands will be held at the St James performance space in the old church building.
The structural improvements were carried out after consultation with the Principal Historic Environment Officer to ensure the building’s historical elements are maintained. The work will safeguard the stability of the steeples and the facade of the building for the long-term benefit of the island, as these changes were incorporated into the scope of works.
During the phase one of the construction process the project team encountered significant unforeseen design changes, mainly to work on the existing pinnacles.
Even with the additional work, this phase was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. This was due to the close collaboration between Jersey Property Holdings, Currie & Brown (Project Managers), ROK Construction (Main Contractor), Granite Le Pelley (Main Sub-Contractor), the Historical Department, T&G Limited (Structural Engineers) who worked together to overcome obstacles.
Phase two comprised the conversion of the vacant St James School buildings into training rooms for the Youth Service, for the Princes’ Trust and Duke of Edinburgh Awards schemes. This work was recently completed by local contractors, A C Mauger, and the Youth Service has now moved in.
A planning application has been submitted for the third and final phase – the refurbishment of the Vicarage and investment in the church to enhance the existing fabric and create practice rooms for youth bands, a performing space and a base for the La Motte Street Radio station. If the application is approved, the work is expected to start in 2014 and be completed in early 2015.
The proposals have been developed in association with the Arts Centre and Arts Trust, who will continue to use the performance space, while their offices are relocated.
Phase one and two were funded from existing JPH budget. The third phase is being funded through a capital funding allocation of £2.5 million which was approved in Medium Term Financial Plan for 2013-2015.
Once the refurbishment and relocation are completed, the La Motte Street site will be available for residential development.
Treasury Assistant Minister, Deputy Eddie Noel, said “This project makes a necessary investment in the fabric of an important historic building, while consolidating the Youth Services team and improving facilities for young people. The release of the existing La Motte Street site for residential development will make a further contribution to much needed housing in town.”
Education Sport and Culture, Minister Deputy Patrick Ryan, said “This is an important project for the Youth Service and will play a major part in ensuring it can meet the needs of Jersey’s young people in future. It is an exciting development and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”