Design and construction of a new three-storey, teaching block and attached four-court sports hall, with a two-court multi-use games area and grade 4 Sports England turf sport field. Demolition of the existing school to create hardstanding and a car park.
4-court sports hall
"When Dover Grammar School for Boys first became involved in the Priority Schools Building Programme (2) back in 2015, never in the wildest dreams of everybody associated with our school community was it ever imagined that we would end up in such an amazing new space in which to work and study. Everything that was wonderful about our old school buildings has come with us, thanks to the DfE and Kier - the school organ (yes - it still works!), the memorial stained glass windows and the school honours boards - but what is even more important is that the sense of togetherness, of common endeavour and raised aspirations has been given a home that is now fit for purpose. Indeed, the school's motto of almost 100 years - Fiat Lux or "Let there be light" - has never been better represented by the bricks and mortar in which it resides. it resides"
Located on a prominent hilltop site, Dover Grammar School for Boys (DGSB) was originally built in the early 1930s. Considered at the end of its design life and no longer fit for modern curriculum delivery, funding was allocated under the Department for Education’s (DfE) Priority School Building Programme 2 to rebuild the school.
A new design was sought that would support the exceptional educational delivery whilst still reflecting the school’s strong sense of pride and history.
Five potential designs were developed and followed by extensive engagement with local stakeholders. The chosen design entailed the demolition of the original school and construction of a new facility that would maintain connectivity across the three-tiered site.
The old Dover Grammar School for Boys overlooked the town of Dover from its vantage point in Tower Hamlets. The entire school estate is built on a 1:6 hill with the new building to be constructed half-way down the incline. This would introduce a logistical challenge for deliveries throughout the project.
Our logistics strategy was developed in consultation with our supply chain partners , Kent County Council Highways and the adjacent Astor College. The school’s existing road was too steep for delivery vehicles so a temporary one-way delivery system was developed to provide safe access to site, particularly for articulated vehicles. This allowed the design to utilise maximum offsite manufactured steel and precast concrete elements. In addition, it enabled the maximisation of full load deliveries, made works safer by reducing working at height, minimised vehicle movements through the live school, supported a better-quality construction solution and increased productivity through programme optimisation.
Throughout the project’s lifecycle our project team also engaged with the students to make them part of the construction process, this includes a selection of Fiat Lux Scholar students who learnt about the history of the project and how it developed from an idea to a building and the process it went through to get there. These students showed the other students around the new building once they have moved in.
The new school is a stunning new landmark giving splendid views towards the castle, port and Channel. A number of unique items from the original school has been carefully retained and relocated, including a pipe organ and honours boards now located in the main hall; two stained glass windows from the original library, now on display suspended in the new central stair core; and engraved stone from within the clocktower integrated as a feature element in the landscaping.
The three storey building contains 160 rooms including science classrooms, a drama studio, a sports hall and changing facilities plus a specialist SEN teaching space and associated back of house support rooms. Once the new build was completed, the existing school was demolished and the land regraded to hardstanding / car parking.
Due to the steepness of the site the building is essentially ‘upside down’ with the reception accessed from the top level via a pedestrian bridge linking with drop-off and parking areas, the school located on the middle level and sports provisions on the lower level.