The Main Contract for the new Arts Centre at Sherborne Girls has started on site. The transformational project designed by Burrell Foley Fischer will benefit the whole school and wider Sherborne community. Morgan Sindall, the Main Contractor for the project, took procession of the site at the end of October.
The new Arts Centre, located at the heart of the campus, will comprise a new recital hall with 300 fixed seats (or capacity for 560 for school assembly). A multifunctional link building will provide a social space for exhibitions, display space to showcase talented artists, host talks by guest speakers, match teas and social events, whilst anchoring the new performing arts centre to the existing Art Building and Music Department. Once the new Arts Centre is complete, the music school will relocate and the Student Centre will be converted into the new Drama School.
Prior to the main contract, a groundworks contract excavated the site which produced about 11,000 tonnes (about 7,000 cubic meters) of spoil from the main site and new tennis courts, which was spread across the playing fields to level the surface. Using the spoil to level the playing fields saved about 450 lorries taking it out of Sherborne for disposal. The School have published a time lapse video of the excavation.
ReEnergise has been appointed to install a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system for the new Arts Centre, which will displace natural gas for 100% of the heating for the new centre and will provide most of the cooling at a very attractive efficiency compared to traditional split air conditioning systems. They are installing approximately 200kW of heat pump compressor capacity and the site will collect the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive subsidy. The rationale for going ahead with the GSHP was both energy cost reduction and having a green energy source at the school.
Stage 1 has begun, with the installation of the borehole array, comprising 19 boreholes each 150m deep, located under the existing playing fields close to the new Arts Centre. The final total number of boreholes will depend on the results of a formal Thermal Response Test which is underway. According to Bean Beanland, ReEnergise Associate Partner and technical lead on this project, ''The ground-source heat pump system will deliver sustainable heating and cooling to this fabulous new arts facility with a carbon emissions footprint that will reduce year on year as the carbon factor of the national grid reduces towards zero. The design life of the borehole array (100 years plus) is such that it represents a statement investment, by the school and the Board of Governors, in combating climate change for many generations of future pupils. It is hoped that the extensive monitoring of the system will also provide an invaluable teaching aid as the school continues to educate those who will inherit responsibility for the planet in years to come.''