Rossall School in Fleetwood launches £1.5m fundraising bid for urgent repairs to crumbling historic buildings
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The school, which dates back to the mid nineteenth century has twenty per cent of Fleetwood’s listed buildings on its site and they need urgent repair.
They include the Sumner Library, Big School and the Chapel of St John the Baptist which are all noted for their architectural importance. These are the most iconic buildings which date back to when the school was first built.
Headmaster Jeremy Quartermain said: “Wind, rain and salt have exerted a toll on the physical fabric of our listed buildings. It is the case that crumbling masonry, corroded metal, rotten roof beams and leaking pipes threaten the very existence of our buildings.
“The cultural identity of the Rossall School community is hardwired into the spectacular architectural heritage of which we all serve as custodians. We pass through the school but for a short time and yet we have a moral responsibility to preserve the fabric of our beloved buildings for future generations.”
Protecting the future of the buildings will cost well in excess of £1.5m, not taking into account the work which needs doing to ensure the Sumner Library becomes a modern study space where children can work together.
Other factors include the amount of work needed to transform Big School into a flexible performance space capable of supporting the school’s rapidly expanding performing arts programme.
The project will be split into two phases – Phase one will concentrate on remedial work while Phase 2 will be all about developmental.
Mr Quartermain added: “There is a distinction between restoration and refurbishment and we need to do much more than simply prevent the buildings from falling to the ground.”
The purpose of the project is two fold - to preserve the architectural heritage of Rossall School and Fleetwood, and to support the future ambitions of the school.
Rossall Foundation will launch its Future Heritage project on Friday at its first annual Rossall Heritage Day, appealing for support to safeguard the buildings.
The school was founded in 1844 by St Vincent Beechey as a sister school to Marlborough College.