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In July 1986 the first turf was dug by Cllr Mrs. Pat Rule for the Community Centre in Burns Road. Records note the building costs to have been £231,033, with planning approval for three phases of construction. The building work of the first phase took longer than expected as the weather was so bad that year and the building which consists of a Badminton Hall, two meetings rooms, office, kitchen and Club Room was finally handed over to North Herts District Council on 9th September 1987. NHDC formally handed over the keys to the RCA at their AGM that October and an official opening ceremony took place on 5th December 1987.

In September 1991 work began on the second phase of the building, this was to build a purpose built Under 5’s area. It was completed in January 1992 and Rainbow Playgroup moved in straight away and has been happily serving the community here ever since. The third phase has never been completed, this was to produce another identical Badminton Hall and additional car parking spaces. Demand never actually warranted the expenditure, but the land remains part of the centre grounds and could always to used sometime in the future if funding was available.

Phase three of the project is to build a second sports hall area and enlarged car park. Despite various attempts over the last 20 years to encourage North Hertfordshire District Council to complete the project the hall has not been built. The land is still available and there is huge demand from the community for halls of this kind. The RCA have a waiting list to use the sports hall that we have. So efforts are yet again made by the RCA to try and get phase three completed. It is also hoped to see a major refurbishment of the centre by NHDC in 2008/9. The renewal of the toilet facilities, kitchen, outside guttering and the upgrade of the sports hall to include some acoustic improvement and a re-sanded and sealed floor, along with various other external repairs. Anglia in Bloom made the centre a project for improvement in 2007 and old hedges were removed and trees, plants and spring bulbs were planted, improving the external appearance of the centre. The RCA are grateful for all their support and efforts. A major upgrade of the Under 5’s area playground is about to take place as well with old tiles and paving slabs being replaced with new coloured soft play surface, patterns, colours and playhouse.

Some of our committee members have been associated to the RCA and the Coombes Community Centre since very early in the establishment of the RCA in 1976 and all through the 20 years of the Coombes Community Centre being open to date.

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