Last Friday night saw a gathering of some 60 past students, from the first graduating Class of 1964 to the newest alumni, the Class of 2020. They came to farewell Blocks 1 and 2, and the front part of the Library.
After a trip down memory lane, we gathered in the Tooth Lounge to share stories from the past. The mischievous tricks the boys used to get up to in the 1960s and ‘70s. Geoffrey, not accustomed to public speaking, admitted to the crowd that it was him who hid behind the sliding blackboards before the “Master” arrived. He was lucky not to have lost a hand, or worse, as the board came crashing down behind him. Those were the days!
There was almost a tear in a few eyes as the alumni fondly reminisced their years at St Paul’s School. Blocks 1 and 2 were “cutting edge” facilities “back in the day”. Sadly, the buildings have well and truly passed their used by date and really don’t adequately cater for the needs of today’s students. So, in a little over two weeks, they will be gone.
As the buildings have some undisturbed asbestos in them, they will be demolished over the three-week break while there are no students on campus.
The campus is going to look somewhat desolate when we return.
Once complete, the new building will dominate the School. The facilities within it will be used by all the students, and indeed, the wider community.
A robust consultation process has occurred over the past 12 months to design the building. Underpinned by our pedagogical framework (way of teaching – Realms of Thinking), students from across the School, as well as staff, have had considerable input into the design of the spaces, both internal and external. It is a building that will support Realms of Thinking (teaching for creativity), interdisciplinary learning and our third pathway, the entrepreneurial pathway.
Practically, the new building will house two new hospitality kitchens and teaching areas, a larger café (Sippers), the Secondary School Library, IT teaching classrooms, a 210-seat presentation space, a Possibility Hub, the Centre for Innovators and Entrepreneurs (CIE), and teaching spaces for staff to support the growth of their practice.
While the existing buildings will be demolished in the holidays, we don’t anticipate the new building to commence until mid-September. It will take 12 months to construct.
Dr Paul Browning