The new facilities
The new building will provide nine classrooms, a lecture/performance space, offices relating to Sixth Form life and higher education, a café, study areas and general social/work space. The guiding design principle has been to create a building which anticipates the feel of a university and we have also incorporated feedback from students, a process which will be ongoing as we turn our attention to furniture and other fittings.
The new facility will be a very significant enhancement of the space dedicated to the Sixth Form and will allow us to accommodate students much more comfortably and appropriately. It will have the benefit of enabling us to develop the work we do with Abingdon School and it also allows us to look again at the existing Sixth Form Centre and consider how that might be re-purposed in the future as part of this next decade’s estate plan.
A consequence of the new building’s location means that there will be limited disruption to current students’ experience during its construction and the existing Sixth Form Centre will remain in use until such time as the new building is ready to open. No teaching spaces will be compromised during this development.
The building process
We are working with TSH Architects who have been responsible for a number of striking new developments for schools in the area. There are many steps to go through during a project such as this. Obviously things can change, although the team at St Helen and St Katharine has a fine track record in bringing complex projects together.
We are also excited about the landscaping plan which will deliver a new quad, bounded on three sides by the new Sixth Form Centre and the Library and which also creates a private Sixth Form garden at the rear of the building. The project landscape architect, Adams Habermehl, will also work on a number of other areas across the site including; the main entrance and staff car park, the route into school between the sports and science buildings and the main quad in the centre of the School.
The architects have been mindful of environmental impact in designing this building and it will feature an air source heat pump (ASHP) thereby avoiding additional use of fossil fuels (gas).