November 2019

The remaining timbers from the old village hall on Bonfire Night
Welcome to update 4!  Thanks to CorraMore for the site reporting and to Anja for the images.  
There has certainly been a buzz on the island this past month as we have witnessed momentous milestones in the construction of the new Iona Village Hall.

Early November saw the arrival of the structural steelwork on site, and quickly erected, giving our first real sense of scale and shape of the new building.  It is quite breath-taking to see the drawings and designs that have been scrutinised and moulded by our island community over 7 years actually begin to materialise in the space.  

The apex of the new hall sits only just over a metre higher than the old hall, but we have doubled the indoor space and the emerging building already has a great presence and holds the promise of all of the many things we plan to fit in! 

The steel skeleton was then surrounded by scaffolding ahead of the next phase; timber frame.  The timber arrived by the lorry-load and very quickly added substance to the steel frame.  We can now identify the rooms and the roof-lines, and can anticipate the views in all directions.  

Off-site, there were technical meetings to discuss roofing and stoneworks, and to further develop sound & lighting requirements, as well as details such as ironmongery and furniture.  

We are hoping to work in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland to complete the stonework detail to the building, using stone donated by the Duke of Argyll.  It will require significant efforts from local volunteers to help get the stone picked and moved to site, but would be a tremendous additional to the project.  We will be hammering out the detail in the coming weeks.

Siteboards are now in place along the site fence and we are delighted with them (great work, GB!) as they not only acknowledge the tremendous supporters that we have on and off-island, but they also help explain why it matters.  We felt it was important to celebrate and explain the project for the many thousands of visitors who will arrive on Iona between now and the completion of the building work.  The feedback we've had from visitors over the past year is extremely supportive and positive - we want to safeguard this whilst we still have a building site and ahead of a beautiful finished product.
The absence of the village hall is felt more strongly in these winter months, with no 'ideal' alternative space on the island.  The hall was always used far more over the winter for regular activities, film nights and for annual highlights such as the School Christmas Play, not to mention school and nursery PE.   

We are grateful to the various individuals, businesses and organisations taking the lead on helping to fill that gap over the coming months either by organising 'extra' activities or providing a space for those activities.  Special mentions this month to Oran Creative Crafts who helped with the Christmas Craft Fair, St Columba Hotel and the Argyll Hotel who are both hosting various events and activities, and to Iona Primary School who hosted a great family quiz and are planning some other activities in the coming months.

Tai-chi group have secured temporary use of space at the MacLeod Centre and any other groups who might find this a suitable space for a few months should get in touch with Iona Community on 700404.

Let us know if you have any other events or activities in mind for the winter!
Fundraising target is now below the £35k mark, and we are working really hard to secure those last £'s.  Look out for upcoming fundraising golf weekend supported by St Columba Hotel, Iona.
Thank you all for your ongoing support!
Main Funders
Copyright © 2019 Iona Village Hall Community Trust, All rights reserved.

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