NOTES TAKEN AT THE PUBLIC MEETING, 24th May 2001 (continued)
Mr Tittershill explained that between 1906 and 1990 the Blue Coat had been a residential school with dormitories. Size wasn't important; the boys and girls who lived there needed space. But for eleven years it has not been a boarding school. The school is now three times too big for its 857 students; expensive to heat and maintain, with too many rooftops. 'We can't take more students, so we have to reduce the size of the school'. Furthermore, said Mr Tittershill, much of the building is in serious disrepair: especially the North Wing laboratories which are more or less as they were 40 years ago. The new building on the north playground will have science labs, a sports hall, dining hall and kitchens. The South Wing, meanwhile, will be converted to flats; its appearance will not change. The Shirley Hall and the rest of the building will be upgraded. The East Wing will always look as it looks now, except that the new school entrance will be 100 yards away from the existing clock tower. Some buildings on the site will be demolished: like the swimming pool, which is not in good order, and the sixth form centre. The new building will be quite small in comparison to the parts being demolished or given up. The new school opening in 2003 will be a modern school with excellent IT and other facilities, but much smaller. That is why things have to change; 'it's too expensive to heat, light and maintain this grand old but seriously too big building'.
Mr Quayle described the plans for the South Wing and the front of the existing building: coloured red and yellow respectively on his drawing. There will be an entrance to the south of the Chapel for the flat development, an 'in only' entrance to the north of the Chapel and an 'out only' vehicle exit further along Church Road: beyond the existing entrance gates which will become 'pedestrians only', with the driveway paved over. The single-storey former laundry building will be demolished, and replaced by a three-storey new-build block 'in the Blue Coat style'. Altogether there will be 45 flats, access to 75 per cent of which would be from a central courtyard, reached via an archway from the car park. The style of the new building will be fairly simple, so as not to dominate its surroundings, but it will 'draw from' the existing building just as the existing building 'drew from' what is now Bluecoat Chambers. Dropped ceilings will be inserted in the flats, except for the top floor where the roof trusses will be exposed The 1960s additions currently standing in the courtyard will be demolished, and replaced by a central 'feature' to encourage community spirit. Demolition materials from the laundry block will be used to modify the existing buildings as necessary, and the salvaged slates will be used to roof the new block. Turning to the front part of the building, Mr Quayle explained that the Foundation proposes to split it into several different uses. The intention is to 'bring life back into the building and bring the Blue Coat into the community'. An exhibition area - featuring some of the Blue Coat's artefacts and paintings - will be created out of the existing Shirley Corridor. The Board Room will remain as at present, while the Chapel will be hired out for weddings. The present Music Room will be converted to a room for receptions, meetings and for use by the Wavertree Society and other groups. At the north end of the block, office units will be created, with undercover access from the rear service yard.
Question: There seem to be a lot of entrances proposed. Will the public be kept sufficiently separate from the children?
Answer (IQ): Yes, the access points to the different parts of the development will be segregated.
(These notes were taken by a member of the Wavertree Society
and are NOT an official record. E. & O.E.)