After moving into the temporary ‘Modular Village’ on the school field in August the first phase of the demolition of several blocks of the old school commenced. For those of you who know the school, Neville was the first building to go followed by Watkins, Hobson and half of Fells. This was a fascinating process that at several points was greeted by a mixture of cheers, gasps and even applause as the students and staff watched buildings be torn apart before their eyes. It also brought some mixed emotions and a hint of sadness for some.
This demolition was completed on 9 November 2020. After this we moved into a period of grinding down the fabric of the old school which will (poetically and symbolically) form part of the foundations for the new school. Alongside this the build area has been levelled, various tests on the ground structure undertaken and then the ground broken in preparation for the foundations. All of these activities led to a fascinating variety of vehicles and machines being on site and has at times caused the whole school to vibrate.
The first delivery of concrete was on 27 November and since then there has been a steady stream of lorries with fresh deliveries. The contents of the lorries are creating the foundations for the steel work that will form the framework of the new building. The initial pieces of this steel structure are due to arrive in the week commencing 14 December and it will be a momentous occasion when the first of these is installed.
Throughout all of this the school has continued to operate in a Covid-safe manner. Having to manage the school and the environment for the new build at the same time as following all of the Covid guidelines has brought its challenges, of course, but nothing that they haven’t been able to successfully deal with. Similarly, all of the meetings with Bowmer + Kirkland (the contractor) and the DfE have had to be held ‘virtually’ and given the level of detail and meticulous planning required for every step of the process the amount of work involved has been enormous.
At the moment the new build project is on time and on schedule to be completed late in 2021 with the new buildings coming into operation at the very start of 2022. After this they still have to demolish most of the remaining old buildings (excluding the Beloe and Desborough blocks) and complete the parking areas and landscaping.
2021 is going to be a very exciting time for Tring School. The new buildings and sports facilities will be very ‘state of the art’ and the school can’t wait to see them start to take shape and then be completed before their very eyes. Please do visit the school website to see regularly updated photos, drone footage, the plans for the new building and a virtual ‘fly through’.