AS staff at the Grange in Midhurst prepare to close the much-loved community and leisure centre they have given a timely reminder of why the building is being replaced.
When storm force winds and torrential rain struck, water cascaded into the building leaving a massive mopping up operation once again.
Grange manager Mike Boyce said: “Water flooded the sports stores, both sports halls were like a mini lake and rain water came down the back stairs like a water fall.
“It was the fifth time it has happened this badly in the 18 years I have been here.”
He and staff member Mark Sills went out onto the roof to check the gutters were clear and found a mini swimming pool above the Strong suite.
“We cleared the gutters and water gushed down onto the roof of the Liberty Hall, when we cleared the gutters there it cascaded down into the car park with such force it blew all the covers off the manholes.”
Staff are preparing to close the centre on February 10 and anticipating opening the new leisure centre in early March.
Mike and his team have planned a commemoration of the Grange with a week of celebrations which begin on Sunday, February 2.
“We want to involve everyone who has ever been a user of the centre and the day care centre and to say thank you to them all for their loyalty,” said Mike.
The celebrations begin with an opening ceremony of the week’s activities on Sunday.
It will also mark the opening of an exhibition featuring the planning of the day and leisure centres and their construction in several phases.
“If anyone has any old photographs or funny stories to tell about the day centre or the community side, to add to the exhibition we would love to hear from them,” said Mike.
On Monday, February 3, there will be a quiz starting at 8pm and the following day starting at 7.30pm there will be the last film show.
On Wednesday, February 5, a thank you buffet has been organised for all the sports clubs and gym members and on Thursday 6 there will be a tea dance at 2.30pm.
On Friday 7, an 80’s disco has been arranged and the following day will see the final monthly market which opens at 9am.
The centre will close on Monday, February 10.