New Building Interiors Now Taking Shape Fast, 20th April 2016

newcastle high school new build from old

On my tour of the old building on April 13th, I got my first view of the new build from the old – from one of the ICT Suite north-facing windows to be precise.  It was an interesting change in perspective.  The view isn’t as pleasing on the eye as the leafy Junior School grounds used to be, but it isn’t awful either and it will improve.  On my way out of the building, I also took some shots of how the wood panelling on the south side of the new build was progressing.  This façade will be two-thirds glass and only one third metal finish.

Insulation being applied to the south façade.
Insulation being applied to the south façade.
Two thirds of this façade will be the glass walls of the Dining Room.
Two thirds of this façade is the glass walls of the Dining Area.

There was no time to visit the new build that day, but it looked very busy through the entrance.  Conal Stamp gave me a wave though.

The Main Entrance looking straight through onto the Dining Room area.
The Main Entrance of the new build looking straight through onto the Dining Hall area.

The following Wednesday, however, I was able to get inside to see how things were taking shape.  Rather than through the Main Entrance in the south-east corner of the building, Peter and I entered the Ground Floor from the north side – basically through a door space in the outer wall of what will be the new Fitness Suite (35).

The Ground Floor floor plan of the new NHSG building.
The Ground Floor floor plan of the new NHSG building.

The whole north side of the Ground Floor, the area nearest to the Sports Hall, is the domain of the PE Dept.   As I understand it, as well as being used by the girls, the Fitness Suite will be open to the public.

The Fitness Suite facing west (above) and east (below).
The Fitness Suite facing west (above) and east (below).

newcastle high school

An artist's impression of the new build Fitness Suite.
An Artist’s Impression of the new building’s Fitness Suite.

From here (a route you can follow yourself in the video at the end of this post), we went west down the side corridor and turned left into the Main Hall area, right in the very centre of the building.  Entering the Hall at this point at the moment, you can see straight through to the open-plan Dining Area beyond it and then the windowed wall which will look out onto the Pupil Plaza between the two buildings.

Looking diagonally south-east across the double-level Main Hall area. Beyond it lies the single level Dining Area and above left the AV Booth.
Looking south-east across the double-level Hall. Beyond it lies the single level Dining Area and (above left) the AV Booth.
The AV Booth for the Hall/Performing Arts Venue from the south.
AV Booth for the Hall/Performing Arts Venue from the south.
The Hall/Performing Arts Venue from the east facing the stage.
Hall/Performing Arts Venue stage area from the south-east.
Artist's Impression of the Performing Arts stage area.
Artist’s Impression of the Main Hall/Performing Arts area.

The Dining Area will be the main recreation space for NHSG girls.

The open-plan Dining Area facing south-east onto the Pupil Plaza and Main Entrance.
The open-plan Dining Area will be light and airy.  Here shown facing south-east onto the Pupil Plaza and Main Entrance.
Artist's impression of the same view of the Dining Area facing south-east.
Artist’s impression: view of the Dining Area facing south-east.

In the outside area today, a mechanical digger was at work in the area between the two buildings soon to become the Pupil Plaza.

The Pupil Plaza and Dining Area from the old building (Giuseppe Ferrara).
The Pupil Plaza and Dining Area from the old building (Image by Giuseppe Ferrara).

As the floor plan for the First Floor clearly shows, the Hall Auditorium roof space expands right up into the centre at first floor level.

First Floor Floor Plan for the NHSG new building.
The First Floor floor plan for the NHSG new building.

We made our way up to the First Floor today via the back stairs (in the building’s north-west corner).  Toilets are also situated here.  At the moment, this approach provides an impressive view of the Hall.

Looking down onto the Hall and Dining Area from behind the stage proscenium arch at first floor level.
Looking down onto the Hall, Dining Area and backstage area from behind the proscenium arch at first floor level.

The teaching rooms on this floor of the building are allocated to Mathematics and Humanities.  In the north-east corner there is a Conference Room and the Staff Area occupies the south-east one.

The Social Staff Room has a double-aspect south-east view.
The Social Staff Room has a double-aspect south-east view.

The Second Floor of the new build is largely devoted to Science.

Second Floor Floor Plan of the NHSG New Build.
The Second Floor floor plan for the NHSG new building.

There is a small Spiritual Room on the south side of this floor, but, other than that, this is all Laboratory and Science Prep Room land.  On this level we met Jonathon and a colleague, who work for NEIT, in the process of installing network cabling throughout the building.

NEIT workers busy installing the network cabling.
NEIT workers busy installing network cabling.

We bumped into them on the corridor leading onto the open-plan Science Demonstration Area, an important new feature of NHSG.

The Science Demonstration Area facing west as it appears to date (above) and in an Artist's Impression (below).
The Science Demonstration Area facing west as it appears at the moment (above) and in an Artist’s Impression (below).

NHSG Science Demonstation Area

The Lab furniture isn’t due to be delivered until June 13th so, for the moment, all the rooms designated as laboratories look pretty much the same.  They are either self-contained or adjoin the Roof Terrace.

Second Floor Science Laboratories on the south side (above) and adjoining the Roof Terrace (below).
A dual-aspect Second Floor Biology Lab (Room 45) facing the old building (above) and adjoining the Roof Terrace (below).

The Roof Terrace will undoubtedly be a huge asset to the new school.  It is to include a Roof Garden along its western edge (overlooking St Mary’s Court), seating and possibly a greenhouse too.

The doorway of the same Biology Lab leading out onto the Roof Terrace.
The doorway of the same Biology Lab leading out onto the Roof Terrace (above).  The Terrace from the south (below).

newcastle high school

We finally made our way down to ground level again via the back staircase which, like the front one, contains toilets on every level.

The north-west corner staircase toilets.
The north-west corner staircase with toilet cubicles (right).

The fact that April 20th was a lovely sunny day was a real bonus, but I’m sure you’ll agree the new building is really starting to look good.

 

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