STUDENTS from Chichester College are helping to transform the old library in Midhurst as a major community facility and a new home for the town’s council.
Midhurst Town Council has signed a lease with West Sussex County Council to take over the building and with its office set to move from Capron House at the end of November, the students are playing a major part in the redecoration of the historic building.
Through their Construction Community project and under the guidance of project supervisor of Dave Ellis, they are providing help with painting, repairs and plumbing as part of their course work.
The idea to involve the students came after they carried out similar work in Selsey at the Selsey Works new offices, a facility to provide a one stop service to boost employment and economic development.
A major part of the works in Midhurst will involve repainting the main Tudor part of the building in conservation grade paint up to the eaves height.
District and county councillor for Midhurst, Gordon McAra, who has played a leading role in the old library project said: “The aim is to give the building a fresh look inside but in keeping with its past – and after the removal of old library fittings the buildings history is much more evident.”
He added: “I heard about the work the college carried out at Selsey and asked them if they would consider taking on the library.
“We are very grateful that they have and it’s good that the students are able to hone their skills in what will be a community building.”
John Etherington, chairman of Midhurst Town Council added: “We have been doing a lot of the work ourselves to keep costs down but the colleges’s involvement has really given the project a boost and its good to see the students enjoying the work and learning new skills.
“They are well supervised and also learn about the health and safety aspects of being on a constructions site.”