I’ve focused on the refurbishment of the Church High old building – and the history revealed in the process – so much of late that you’d be forgiven for forgetting there is a new building taking shape too. You may remember I toured its outer structure on January 13th and first stepped foot inside the ground floor on February 23rd and 24th. It took another month before I got into the building properly.
My guide was once again ‘chief baby-sitter’, Peter Wilson, and it was a real thrill to be walking up the new staircase I’d previously photographed only from the outside as it was being assembled. As we hit the first floor I could see just how far the interior partition walls were advancing and on the top floor things were even more advanced. Very excitingly, rooms were definitely now taking shape.
The exciting thing about EWA’s design for the second floor of the new building is that only two thirds of the actual floor area is taken up with classrooms. The south-west third is a Roof Terrace with a Roof Garden which can be accessed from the four labs adjacent to it. And it was the Roof Terrace that Peter wanted to show me today.
What Peter had brought me up to see was the roof surfacing actually being laid. It was a real hive of activity up there today.
Straight-ahead of me, a very friendly workman was only too happy to show me how the process worked: heat is applied then a roller.
In the south east corner, nearest to the old building, not only was there felt being fitted, but work was being done on the railing too.
On re-entering the building again through the roof door of Room 45, I took the opportunity to take some shots through the lab’s side windows which face onto the north elevation of the old building.
As on the first floor, along the central corridor running between the labs men were working on the ceiling pipe-work via scaffold towers.
Descending to the first floor once again, it was necessary to keep making way for busy men moving to and fro carrying plaster-board.
The design for the first floor of the new building features eleven rooms and two stairwells (each containing toilet cubicles) on three sides. The fourth side, facing St Mary’s Court, and the entire centre section is taken up by the upper half of the new school assembly hall.
The three classrooms on the south side of the first floor are all allocated to Mathematics. Their windows face onto the old building.
The last room I managed to sneak a look into before we returned to ground level has a dual aspect and should be a very sunny room. This room was of particular interest to me because it is going to be the new staff room. I’m not sure how much time I will manage to actually spend in there since I’ll be based in my beloved old building. However, it’s nice to think my favourite sunny corner of the Church High social staff room could very possibly be recreated once again.