How many bricks are there in the Sports Hall? It was a game some staff used to play in the summer at exam invigilation time. I didn’t. Numbers have never been my thing. But if one of my ex-colleagues reading this remembers, perhaps they could tell us via a Comment. I know a post on the Sports Hall should probably be focusing on PE, but, as an English teacher, I spent most of my time there invigilating.
Up until April 6th, the Sports Hall was the only place on the main site I hadn’t visited with my camera. This wasn’t just because it wasn’t my natural domain. As the building is to be retained as part of the new school, for a long while it remained untouched, a safe storage space. However, learning that Wates were working on it now, since Peter was needed on the fork-lift again, Eddie took me there today.
As can be seen from the plans, to allow optimum space for the new build, only a narrow alleyway now leads to the Sports Hall entrance.
If you can recall the original plans when the Sports Hall was built in 2002, you will have spotted the difference. To accommodate the new building’s north-west corner, the angled section of the entrance lobby was demolished and the area sealed off ever since.
Thanks to photographs taken by Wates themselves and Giuseppe, you can see below how the entrance lobby has been reconfigured.
Eddie had told me they were busy creating two wet rooms in the entrance and, as we approached the building, the first thing I saw was someone hard at work in a trench installing new pipes and drains.
After ducking under the scaffolding, trying hard not to bang my helmet, I could now see the reshaping of the lobby interior for myself.
For a full tour through the old toilet & changing room areas and all four corners of the Sports Hall itself as I found them on the 6th April, there is a slideshow at the end of this post. However, the main impressions which struck me were not of sporting achievements, but of entering a time-warp which took me back to the summer of 2014. It was strangely disorientating, knowing how much had changed elsewhere on site, to see the store cupboard full of Church High equipment as it had been left. Also the exam desks and particularly the circular Dining Hall tables neatly stacked at the back of the hall.
The bright red bricks of the large donors’ plaque which was displayed on the side wall of the entrance lobby caught my eye next.
But it was the exam board regulations still in place on the walls and the flipchart showing the Church High centre number & details of the last exam propped up against the wall which affected me most.
However, something even more evocative awaited me in the far corner as we made our way back across the hall towards the door. Not only was there a lone exam desk and table still set up next to the central heating units now scattered across the floor, but the clock next to the basketball net on the east wall was still actually working.
Even now, the Sports Hall is still running on Church High time.