providing a meeting place for all 55 boarders. As an interesting aside, it may not be well known that the grand fountain at Old Blew, which will be moved from its current isolated position to a more suitable site in the garden at the junction of the two houses, was given by Freddie Mercury to a former owner of Old Blew, in recognition of his pioneering work on AIDS. Work on the Barry Buildings has now begun to repair the terracotta facades at high level on the Centre Block and the contractors moved in as soon as Michaelmas Term 2016 ended. The entirety of the Centre Block will be shrouded in scaffolding and white monoflex for the whole of 2017, while expert stonemasons and craftsmen carry out the intricate work of cutting out and replacing damaged and failing terracotta and cleaning and repairing the façade and windows. This is expensive, intrusive and time-consuming, yet is essential, not simply to restore the beauty of the damaged finials and cupolas, but most importantly to make the fabric safe and preserve the building for the future. Parallel to these external works, planning is in an advanced stage for the internal refurbishment of the Barry Buildings, which will restore and upgrade 50 classrooms and teaching staff offices and the corridors of North and South Blocks. This is a mammoth and complex task which will be delivered in phases, one floor at a time, decanting
teaching departments into the green portacabins previously used by Science. Classrooms will be modernised with the introduction of current technology and IT, whilst restoring the grandeur of their original design as teaching spaces. This is a very significant and expensive project principally because of the cost of installing new services throughout the buildings, involving new heating plant and pipework to replace old, decrepit and leaking systems, electrical re-wiring and the installation of full IT networks. The project will begin in the Easter holidays of 2017, with completion within a year to 15 months. It is intended to submit “The Landscape Plan” for planning in 2017, with a view to implementation in 2018. This will deliver a transformed central campus, restored to full pedestrian use, creating reflective spaces for the boys. The first phase was completed this year with the replacement of the 34 ageing trees of ‘Chestnuts Avenue’ by 52 new specimens in ‘Lime Tree Walk’, which also provided the opportunity to resurface the path with top-dressed gravel. The new 1st XV rugby pitch has developed into a magnificent and well- drained and high-performing surface as a result of the care and attention of the dedicated team of groundstaff and we are in discussions with a potential provider of a commercial ‘3G’ artificial surface for rugby and football at the Trevor Bailey. Early days but hopeful indicators.
Simon Yiend Chief Operating Officer
This year has been typically busy, delivering current projects and planning for those to come, with completion of The Laboratory, on time and to budget, a truly significant milestone. It has been a real pleasure to see the delight and appreciation with which the new building has been received by pupils, staff and OAs alike. The Laboratory is already in great demand for a wide variety of events and activities, whether teaching of the humanities in the new Informatics suites, the delivery and exploration of the Science curriculum, the showcasing and performance of all the creative arts–music, art and drama–or Year Group assemblies, lectures and other events. Meanwhile, planning for the next phase of major capital projects continues. Planning approval has been received for The Orchard and Old Blew Link, on which work should commence early in 2017, with completion for the new academic year in September. This project will unify the two boarding units, via a single storey glass link, into one cohesive boarding house, with a Common Room to the rear of the Orchard
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