Wilds Lodge School
Wilds Lodge School is an independent specialist boarding and day school. Located in the county of Rutland, the school recently undertook a major construction project to expand and enhance its range of facilities.
At the heart of the project was the construction of a 180-seat, state-of-the-art theatre that includes retractable seating in its main area and a control room for lighting and sound. The theatre’s block and beam floor with screed also features underfloor heating. The steel frame structure boasts a curved roof with a sedum covering, zinc trims and soffits, wood cladding and Ancaster limestone.
Alongside the theatre, a number of associated buildings have also been created to help the experience of pupils and includes a new reception area and lobby space, a staff room, a kitchen, three counselling rooms, two offices, a meeting room and a music room with a recording booth and recording studio. The new facilities are all single storey buildings with the exception of the new reception which is housed in an existing school building and links to the new facilities. A flat roof section covers the offices and staff room which also boasts a rendered curved wall.
Prior to work beginning, this particular area of the school grounds was partially wooded, apart from one building which was dropped and now forms the courtyard entrance. Ross Thain Architects was responsible for the design of the new development while work was carried out on site by Rutland Property Maintenance. The school’s facilities manager Mrs Liz Cliffe was also instrumental in the final design and finishes to the building.
The project took approximately 16 months to complete, taking into account a challenging site, bespoke design and the restrictions of a school that is still in operation. Graeme McNaughton, Managing Director of Rutland Property Maintenance, said:
“We had to work with a 3 metre slope from top to bottom which made the work complicated. We had to start at the top where the plant room is and work our way down the slope to build. The other challenge was all of the curves on the building.
“The school are absolutely delighted with it. The theatre and a project of this ilk has been the vision of the headmaster for a number of years. They’re obviously over the moon.
“As a company we do bespoke designs. I have a good relationship with the school and know how the school needs a project like this to work and be set up. It’s good to be able to have discussions as the building is taking place and each room is tailored to their own requirements. I have the same set of lads working for me on a project like this which really helps.”
Graeme King, Director of Ross Thain Architects, was responsible for the design and delivery of the project on behalf of the school. He said:
“We are delighted with the end product and the way our design has been interpreted and constructed. It is a very bespoke, special structure and with that comes challenges – the integrity of the design has been maintained despite tight programming and cost control. It has been a pleasure to work with both the school and Graeme McNaughton at Rutland Property maintenance. We are also delighted that the building recently won the Rutland Local History & Record Society’s George Phillips Award for a building which has made the most significant contribution to conserving the character of the local built environment.”
Ready in time for the new calendar year, the expanded facilities now offered by Wilds Lodge School will be a major benefit for pupils and staff alike.