North West

The Riley Centre arrives

The Riley Centre is a brand new, four-storey sixth form centre housed within Bolton School.

The £7 million new build project reached completion in September 2013 and provides up to 400 students with a range of new facilities.

The completion of the glass-fronted building marked the fourth stage of a building programme at Bolton School, which has recently seen the construction of a new infant school, a junior girls’ school and the refurbishment of the junior boys’ school. The Riley Centre includes a common room, cafe, study spaces and outdoor areas.

Work began on the project in July 2012, with Seddon Construction as the main contractor. Seddon Construction provides specialist services for a range of construction and maintenance projects and has previously completed school projects in Salford and Barrow-in-Furness, amongst others.

Operations Director for Seddon, Peter Jackson, said:

“We first started working with Bolton School in 2008, when we worked on their junior boys’ school. It was a lovely building and Bolton School has become a great customer. We then built the girls’ school building and the school built a great relationship with the site manager Jimmy Foylan.

“When the sixth form project came about, the school wanted to work with Jimmy again. He works with the school to make sure the disruption is kept to a minimum and everything is kept on schedule. Again, this sixth form centre was a lovely building to be involved with.

“It’s a steel framed building clad in stone which is dressed at the quarry and is a perfect curve, rather than straight-edged. It’s absolutely stunning.

“The building is elliptical-shaped and linked to the existing school with granite paving outside. Inside there is some lovely joinery with hardwood fittings.”

The new building was designed to remain in keeping with the original Grade II Listed buildings that surround it. For the first time in the school’s history sixth form students will share new facilities under the one roof, however, the school will still continue to provide single-sex education.

Cassidy + Ashton provided all architectural services on The Riley Centre. Commenting on the appointment of the practice, Bolton School Clerk and Treasurer, Cathy Fox, said:

“We chose them because their design best suited our needs and also because we know from past experience that they deliver on time and to budget. They are always a pleasure to work with, fitting in with any last minute adjustments or requirements on our side.

“The drawings they came up with for our new shared sixth form centre were stunning, referencing our grand sandstone school and iconic neo-gothic facade, but in what is a very futuristic and eye-catching building.”

Cassidy + Ashton Lead Architect, Lawrence McBurney, said:

“It was a pleasure to work with Bolton School to create something which is so prominent at this already very striking school. The opportunity to introduce a new building within the main quad, adding and complementing the setting of the listed buildings was a challenge, but one which we think has created a unique and dramatic centrepiece for the school.”

For more information on Bolton School, please visit:

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