After five years of almost constant building works at the School, we are now reaching the end of the campus redevelopment. The Science Centre and Maths and Humanities Building were completed and opened for use by the School in 2020 and now we are about to see the completion of the new Sports Hall and Creative Arts Centre, which are the final components in the transformation of the campus.
Work on the Sports Hall and the remodelling of the School’s Courtyard will be complete by the start of the Summer Term. The Sports Hall is partially sunken into the Courtyard, with a newly landscaped and paved area above it. Within the Sports Hall there is space for a basketball court, cricket nets or three badminton courts, as well as provision for other sporting activities. Construction of the Sports Hall has taken place over the past two years and involved an innovative “top-down” approach to the building of sunken spaces. This meant the roof of the Sports Hall was in place before digging out the internal space.
The completion of the digging out was celebrated last September by a “bottoming out” ceremony, with Mr Brownhill demonstrating his bricklaying skills by laying a block at the base of the Sports Hall.
The completion of the Creative Arts Centre, in the Tabernacle Building, is only a few months behind the completion of the Sports Hall. This will be available for use by the School at the start of the Autumn Term. It will provide a large performance space within the old chapel, as well as state-of-the-art music classrooms, music practice rooms and art classrooms. All the facilities are purpose-built and will provide the School with top quality facilities for music, art and drama. The equipment in the performance space, including theatrical lighting, audio-visual kit and drapes, has been purchased largely from funds provided by a charitable foundation established by a former student at the School.
Converting the old Tabernacle Building (previously two separate buildings, one used as a small sports hall) has presented a number of challenges, not least uncovering the fabric of a building originally constructed in the nineteenth century. Many of the features of this building, especially the windows and the roof timbers, have been retained and enhanced to provide a unique environment for the School’s creative arts teaching and activities.
Completion of the campus redevelopment project means that the School is now able to provide students and staff with facilities and resources in buildings consistent with the standards of excellence promoted by the School.