Friday, 4 February 2011


Looking south-east from Settle Road, King's Wood North Block is virtually gone.  Work on the foundations of the new Drapers' Academy buildings starts shortly
Past Master James Devereux, the Drapers' Academy governor leading on the newbuild, sent me a view of the North Building site taken while he was visiting the school on Tuesday.

A demolition site may not be the picture with the greatest amount of interest to the casual reader of this blog.  But to those who have been following the story of the Academy new-build from the time that Michael Gove called in the project for review in July last year, only weeks before contract sign-off - now called Gove Tuesday in the academy movement, this view of a cleared site marks the end of the beginning. 

The Great Crested Newt
Work will now start on creating the foundations and structure of the new buildings.  There will also be a huge earth moving project to landscape the site to create better playing fields and ground source heat pump system to give the Academy a large measure of energy self-sufficiency. With the latter works we have to look after our Great Crested Newts and make sure they come to no harm.  A colony of this increasingly rare species lives on the edge of the playing fields. In the words of the law it is an offence to, 'Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a Great Crested Newt.'  To avoid this will require some very complicated earth moving activity.  But compared with other problems we have faced I am sure this is manageable.

Just over four terms, and under seventeen months, before the new buildings are open.

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