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COLYTON: Colyton Grammar wins £1.24million funding to fully refurbish school hall

Thursday, 15 May 2014

COLYTON Grammar School is set to go ahead with a full refurbishment of its Cottrill Hall after receiving a £1.24million government grant for the work. The school has won an Academies Capital Maintenance Fund grant from the government’s Education Funding Agency to completely refurbish its main hall. This will allow for the leaking roof to be replaced, new toilets, heating and lighting to be improved, and floor space to be increased by 20 per cent. Additionally, old changing rooms will be demolished and replaced with a new building to form a backstage green room, toilets and storage. The hall will also have a new foyer, a small refreshments servery for public events, a new lighting gallery and 200 roll-out seats, making it easier to watch and put on productions. Planning permission has been received and the tender process completed so the school is ready to start work as soon as summer examinations are over. Headteacher Paul Evans said: “The Cottrill Hall is the focal point of the school and we have needed these exciting improvements for a very long time. “We have worked closely with our architects, TFQ of Topsham, to develop these plans which were subject to very close scrutiny by the Department for Education. “A total of £1.4billion was available for 2,000-plus academies to bid for this year and this was one of 3,300 projects seeking funding. We are delighted that we’ve been one of the very few projects to meet the criteria to be funded. “The existing Cottrill Hall building was built in the 1970s and was originally the school sports hall. In recent years, this space is used for regular whole school assemblies, examinations, parents’ evenings, open days, concerts and theatre productions. In essence, the existing building is a converted agricultural building. “The project will greatly improve the facility’s heating, lighting and acoustics, modernise toilets, while also addressing a leaking roof. Installation of raked seating for 200 people also improves the building for dramatic performances and concerts. “The governors have been working for a decade or more to find a way to achieve this project and we are delighted to finally have the opportunity to do so.” The refurbishment and extension will see the floor size of the hall increased from 380 metres-squared to 464. The planning application stated that the refurbishment would also improve the existing “drab and dreary” aesthetics of the building, with cedar cladding and tinted red bricks to match other buildings on the school site. The first stages of construction will be the building of replacement outdoor sport changing rooms, which will be completed by October half term. It is hoped the new-look main hall will be finished in January 2015.


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