18th October 2019
Last evening saw the opening of the New Dance and Drama Building at Hendon School. The Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet Councillor Caroline Stock officiated the opening at a gala ceremony.
Hendon School is a popular and highly subscribed secondary school rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school is committed and continues to invest in its pupils to offer them the best environments for learning and development.
Dance and Drama are key strengths of Hendon School. However existing facilities were outgrown and old. A new two 90 sqm dance studios, two 90sqm drama studios and ancillary spaces, now replaces a dilapidated two room temporary building which was previously used by the Arts and Drama Faculty.
Speaking at the new studio opening Craig Maguire, Acting Head, stated, ‘Dance and drama are a central part of Hendon School’s offering. Our talented students can now utilise this wonderful building to practice and further develop their skills and unleash their creativity.’
The project was partly funded by ESFA’s Condition Improvement Fund. Barker Associates assisted the school with the application process and were appointed to develop and manage the project.
The budget was tight for the facilities required, and so an economical design solution was required. Some facilities, such as an outdoor amphitheatre, and light and sound equipment, could not be provided but these facilities have been included where necessary in the planning approval, and the design has been future proofed to enable these facilities to be added when the budget becomes available.
A Design and Build Contract was entered with an off-site fabrication company, TG Escapes. The benefits of this approach were to reduce the onsite construction period, with panelised pre-fabricated units being manufactured off site, and to minimise disruption to the operation of the school.
The construction period was 6 months, and the building was successfully handed over in August 2019, and was operational for the beginning of the school term.