Dateline Thursday September 26th and it’s the grand the re-opening of the first phase of the refurbished Frank Jordan Community Centre. The Centre opened initially in 1858, as the National School. It then consisted of 6 class rooms, a hall and a house for the Headmaster built next door.
It later came under the control of St Michael’s Parish Church – and the building was used not only as a school – but also the meeting place of the Church Sunday School.
During the 1960’s – after 100 years use as a school – it was decided that the building was no longer fit for purpose as there was little room for expansion or the building of more modern facilities. So, it was decided to build a new school on land just off the Lichfield Road. The new school was built in two phases. The infants section moved to the new school in April, 1970 and the older pupils followed later.
In 1974, Stone UDC was subsumed by Stafford Borough Council as part of a local government re-organisation. By this time of course, the building was empty. It was decided that the Borough Council would buy the building and that Stone Town Council would sell its Town Hall (next to the Red Lion in the High Street), and use the money from the sale to help refurbish this building which would be used as a Community Centre.
Frank Jordan had, of course, been a long serving Councillor in Stone – and a previous Chairman of Stone Urban District Council. He had also been the first Town Mayor – and was a greatly respected man both through his actions as a Councillor – and his work as an ambulance driver.
All in the town were shocked when he passed away in 1979 and it was then agreed to name the new Community Centre in his memory at the official opening of the Centre in March 1981.
In 2015, the lease on the building was up for renewal – and Stone Town Council agreed that as the building provides one of the few community facilities in Stone, the lease should be renewed and the building refurbished so that its facilities could be better used by the community.
(ED. Your Editor was surprised at this decision – but highly delighted and is over the moon to see the refurbishment now well underway.)
Very much under the ever watchful eye of Cllr Rob Kenney who project managed the current refurbishment was brought in on time and under budget. The first phase incorporated the reception, kitchen, toilets and the impressive St Michaels Hall (pictured above for those who remember the centre as it was.)
Phase 2 will be the Christ Church Hall – plans are already underway. All in all the Frank Jordan Centre is well on its way to being what it was always meant to be, a genuine asset with one foot architecturally in the past and the other, for the community, firmly in the future.
So the refurbished hall is very much open for business and community use – for more details please contact Stone Town Council on 01785 619743 or go to www.stonetowncouncil.gov.uk