Amazing £60m King’s School campus nears completion

23 Jan 2020 10:27
Published by: Kian French

The School has revealed the progress on what is one of the most ambitious school projects anywhere in the country and confirmed that it is on schedule to be completed by June 2020. In recent weeks, significant progress has been made on the internal walls, external brickwork, IT infrastructure, sports facilities and the road layout.

New computer-generated images reveal how some of the internal spaces will look. A large, bright atrium will welcome visitors and pupils, and will feature a large staircase. This will lead on to a wide, central corridor known as 'the street' which will link all the academic departments and faculties. A central library will feature a large glass wall linking the indoor and outdoor environments and will open on to a garden area at the rear of the building for pupils to spend time reading or relaxing. A large performance space for plays and productions will complement a music recital hall and a large main hall for school and community events.

Headmaster of the 517-year old independent school, which teaches boys and girls aged 3 to 18, Dr Simon Hude, said: "Our intention is  to provide an outstanding educational establishment within a beautiful and sustainable environment in which we can nurture our learning community. Our commitment to providing an all-round education will be evident from the quality of the classrooms and laboratories as well as the facilities for sport, recreation and performing and creative arts."

"Importantly, we will not increase the size of our pupil roll, maintaining small class sizes and year groups so as to continue to deliver outstanding pastoral care."

Opening to pupils in September 2020, the campus will offer students an impressive main academic building flooded with natural light and providing flexible learning spaces embedded with the latest technology. Infant and junior pupils will benefit from dedicated facilities for science, art, computing and sports plus and both indoor and outdoor learning areas. Infant classrooms will each have direct access to an outdoor classroom, in which pupils can continue their learning in the outdoor environment.

For Senior pupils, facilities include 15 new state-of-the-art laboratories, con temporary art workshops, creative studios, an innovation hub, drama halls, a recording studio and a recital theatre.  For Sixth Form pupils, there are specialist tutor rooms, common rooms and a careers hub to help them plan for the future.

A Sports Centre will offer an indoor swimming pool, large sports hall, an indoor cricket centre and a dance/martial arts studio. Outside, the campus will feature eight senior rugby pitches, four cricket pitches, outdoor cricket nets, junior football and rugby pitches, two all-weather Astroturf hockey pitches, six tennis and netball courts, a 400-metre athletics track, and a dedicated rounders pitch. The new campus adjoins the School's existing Derby Fields facilities, so that pupils have access to all facilities on one site.

One of the stand-out advantages to the new site is its large, rural location and adjoining woodland. Caroline Johnson, Director  of External Relations, explains: "The architect for the project  used the natural environment as inspiration  for the  design of the main building, which is intended to nestle into the landscape and not dominate the surrounding woods and open  green fields. A range of eco-friendly initiatives will help to reduce our carbon footprint, increase wildlife and biodiversity, and also provide pupils with a range of 'hands on' learning opportunities. Solar panels on the roof will provide power for the building's lighting requirements. A comprehensive tree and wild flower planting scheme will see hundreds of native species of trees and plants to en courage wildlife. Bat boxes and swift boxes will be used to provide roosting sites for species currently in decline in the UK. Bee hives will support local bee colonies and allow pupils to learn about this important pollinator, while apple orchards will help support heritage Cheshire varieties."


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