By Richard Lushington, Bursar
The first phase of the refurbishment of the old Art and Design buildings to create new student studies is complete, and 80 study spaces (pictured above) were opened just after the start of this term.
Designed by Richard Griffiths Architects, with the interior completed in consultation with Old Bedalian and current Governor Anna Keay, the second phase started immediately after the first. The old Art buildings were stripped of anything that could be recycled ahead of their demolition at half term, when we also took the opportunity to remove the first two of the Academic Village buildings. A new building – a timber-framed structure clad in oak – will be built on the footprint of the old Art building; once complete it will offer our students excellent facilities in which to learn and spend time.
The roof over the workshop will be replaced and two Dance/Drama studio rooms created. The last of the old Art buildings, which was for Sixth Form Art, will come down at Easter so that it can be replaced with a new Sixth Form social space.
The overall aim is to have all of this ready for September 2020, and enable the removal of the final two Academic Village buildings, so that space can be returned to green space. This will be a major step forward in improving the Bedales estate as we continue to make the school an even better place to live, work and be.