May 2021 Rebuild Update
Over recent weeks the school has been working closely with the DfE project team to identify the best location for any replacement building and this work is nearing completion with the current proposal shown in outline below. This proposal will be provided to the appointed building contractor from which the location will be confirmed and detailed work on the external and internal design will begin.
The proposed location will be between our Renishaw building and the field (shown in the blue circle):
Initial internal layout drawings indicate that this will need to be a 3 storey building to accommodate all the teaching spaces as well as our replacement Gym and Drama Hall and the school is looking forward to working with the architects to determine the best layout for the departments involved.
Some may have noticed that we will likely need to relocate one of the sets of tennis courts and change the layout of our first team football and rugby pitches, but be assured we will be working closely with our PE department, the architects and also with Sport England to ensure that the replacement facilities are to a similar standard, suitable for the sports which these facilities are used for and that there is no loss of playing surfaces / areas. The lighting will be reinstated above the tennis courts to support community use.
We are pleased that this location will be considered further as by building here will mean that:
- There will be no loss of teaching accommodation during the build so no requirement anticipated for temporary teaching accommodation
- The build time will be shorter meaning less potential for any disruption
- The build area will be away from the majority of our teaching areas
The building itself of course will provide us with a modern, environmentally friendly facility with larger teaching spaces, a number of presentation areas, a larger drama hall, additional pupil social spaces and all being well an improved area for bus and car parking – in summary a great improvement for our pupils, staff and parents.
Through this design, the school continues to believe that it can continue to provide the excellent standard of education expected by our pupils in our current facilities.
March 2021 Rebuild Update
This week the school has received further guidance form the DfE project team on the parts of the school which are to be replaced over the next few years. They have now confirmed that as a minimum the following areas are to be replaced (coloured pink areas in the plan):
• Kingswood (languages department)
• Drama Hall, Stage area and Drama classroom behind
• Learning support
• Staff room area
• Portcabin units at the back of the school site (A4 / A5)
The replacement of these buildings will provide an opportunity for us to further enhance the facilities for our pupils which the school is excited about. The Drama Hall replacement for example will enable tiered seating to be provided and increase the overall floor space which will provide a more comfortable, flexible and improved experience for both our students and parents.
Extensive consideration is being given to the location of any new facilities and in particular to the phasing of the works to avoid / minimise any impact on our delivery of the curriculum and support to students. A number of options are being considered however before deciding we await final details of the underground services that we will need to avoid building over.
One option for the building locations is shown in the following drawing and work will continue to develop this approach over the coming weeks to fully understand the advantages and disadvantages associated with this approach. Be assured that other options are being evaluated as well. We believe that having two buildings will almost completely avoid the need for any temporary accommodation to be used during the building phases of this project.
Building in locations similar to what is shown above will enable the school to retain its open campus style that is enjoyed by our students and will enable the school to create a large central quad for use by all. The illustration below shows what would believe the quad area could look like (taken from illustrations from a recent DfE rebuild project).
KLB Announces Rebuild
Today it has been announced that Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School, Wotton-under-Edge, is included in the first phase of 50 schools to benefit from the Government’s transformative ten-year rebuilding programme.
Since the Prime Minister announced the programme in June last year, the school has been working closely with the Department for Education to determine the continued suitability of the original buildings (from the mid-1960s) in a modern teaching environment. We have also assessed the projected life of some of the remaining existing accommodation.
The school welcomes the substantial additional investment the rebuild programme will bring to provide a modern, greener environment in which staff and students can work and learn. The project is at an early phase but it is initially envisaged that there will be a rebuild of the original 1960s part of the school.
On hearing the announcement, Tim Rand, Headteacher, said, “This investment in our school is much welcomed and will support the school’s aim of providing a modern state of the art learning environment for our students. It will deliver a level of investment and change that could never have been realised through our normal funding streams, and will deliver accommodation appropriate for the next 50 years and beyond. We look forward to working with everyone involved, not only to ensure the facilities meet the needs of students and staff but also that any work is sympathetic to the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside in which we are located.”
Indications are that building work will begin in the summer of 2022 subject to planning and consents. The focus now will be on capturing the input of staff, students, parents and the community to ensure that the school values and needs are considered from the outset in the architectural design work of the new buildings.
Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School has a long history as the oldest state secondary school in the country, having been founded in 1384 when Katharine Lady Berkeley set up a school in Wotton-under-Edge, with one master and two students. Since then, the school has come a long way and is now a highly successful 11-18 mixed comprehensive school of over 1500 students.
Located just outside Wotton-under-Edge at the bottom of the Cotswold escarpment, the school sits in a beautiful green and spacious countryside setting.
Employing over 200 staff and accommodating over 1500 students, the school supports some 48 local primary schools in ensure the local provision of secondary education.
For more information please contact KLB School by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org