An original feasibility study and development plan was undertaken by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP in 1996 to establish a long-term strategy for the development of the School’s facilities, which developed into a long-term partnership over more than a decade. The scope of the study included the acquisition of Technology College Status; a new library; IT and private study facilities; new teaching spaces, including classrooms, science labs and technology workshops; a new Sixth-Form Centre; improved sports, drama and performance facilities; improved access, circulation and playground facilities; and the introduction of full disabled access throughout the school.
In 1998, following the acquisition of Technology College Status, a new IT classroom was constructed and informal IT access within the existing school library on a new mezzanine level was introduced. In early 2003 we were commissioned to undertake the detailed design of the first phase of the long-term development plan (the new Sixth-Form Centre) and to obtain planning permission for this and the second phase, the creation of a new school entrance, reception and administration facilities.
Work on the third phase of the project, the development of the existing Victorian building which houses the Technology Block, was completed in 2007 in a two-storey extension to the main building providing new workshops for vehicle maintenance, painting and decorating, etc.
The latest phase is a new build extension which includes specialist ICT and general purpose classrooms, and a professional catering kitchen teaching space. A footbridge connecting the new building to the existing building at first floor level is also provided to integrate the new building into the existing Technology Block. This also means that the first floor areas in the existing building are accessible via the lift in the new building. The materials for the external elevations of the building follow the language established in the previous two phases, i.e. terne coated stainless steel sheet and semi glazed black bricks, combined with large areas of glass to provide light, views and ventilation to the interior of the new building.
Owing to the nature of the project, all of the works have been planned and sequenced in order to minimise disruption to teaching and to avoid the need to decant pupils to temporary classrooms or alternative sites.