Work starts on Codicote community centre in memory of teacher who died in ski trip fire

The start of the building for the new sport centre in Codicote begins

The start of the building for the new sport centre in Codicote begins - Credit: Archant

Building work has started on a new sports and community centre which will bear the name of a teacher who died while saving children in a fire.

The £500,000 project to build The John Clements Sports and Community Centre got underway last week, with Hitchin-based company MP Building now on site in Bury Lane, Codicote.

The name has been chosen in honour of Mr Clements, who grew up in Codicote and was working as a PE teacher when a fire broke out at a ski resort in Italy in 1976.

After helping many of the 37 children to safety, Mr Clements was overcome by smoke and died in the fire. He was awarded the George Cross posthumously in recognition of his bravery.

The John Clements Sports and Community Trust was set up to oversee the build and raise the money required, following an agreement with Codicote Parish Council.

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The new building will replace the existing centre and is earmarked to be completed by April 2015.

Jim Park, co-ordinator of the scheme, said: “The new building will bring great benefits to the people of Codicote and the wider neighbourhood, by providing improved facilities to enhance sport, recreation and community activities.

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“Both gratitude and sincere thanks must go to the range of local, regional and national funders who have extensively contributed to the cost of the centre and also to the people of Codicote who have so passionately supported fundraising events in the past few years, particularly the ongoing Buy-a-Brick campaign which started earlier this summer.”

Kevin Boyle, the managing director of MP Building, said: “We are honoured to be involved in a project so close to the heart of the community. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the community trust to construct a facility much-needed by the community and befitting the tribute being made to John Clements.”

The community trust is still raising funds to provide finishing touches to the building – visit or call Jim Park on 01438 820325 to find out how to get involved.

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