Students and teachers at BGS celebrate the topping out ceremony with some of the Rydon construction team

Bristol Grammar School celebrates new arts centre

New Performing Arts Centre at Bristol Grammar School tops out after staged construction

Posted by Stephanie Broad | October 14, 2015 | Facilities & buildings

Bristol Grammar School, performing arts centre, topping out, school buildings, independent schools, education

Bristol Grammar School has celebrated an important stage in the construction of its Performing Arts Centre with a traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony. 

The ceremony is a long standing tradition in the construction industry and marks reaching the highest point of a new building – in this case the top of the centre’s structural steel frame. 

The state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is set to officially open in August 2016. 

Students and staff visit the site

When complete, the PAC will include a theatre that will enable different seating configurations, a dance studio, live music venue and a variety of music and band rooms. There will also be an impressive foyer for art exhibitions. 

These different spaces will be available to the wider community, including schools and local arts groups as well as visiting national companies and organisations outside of core school hours. 

Drama, dance and music form an important part of the curriculum and co-curricular activities at Bristol Grammar School. These subjects provide rich opportunities for all students to develop new personal skills and interests, improve self-confidence, and achieve high standards at school performances and concerts.  

Watch a time-lapse video of the project 


Headmaster of Bristol Grammar School, Rod MacKinnon, was joined by Paul Barber of Rydon, the Bristol-based company undertaking construction, along with students and staff from the school to fix the final bolt to the steel frame. 

Rod MacKinnon said: “This really is something to celebrate as we move closer to the moment when students, teachers and the wider community will be able to take full advantage of all the fantastic elements this new centre has to offer. 

“There is such enthusiasm and passion for the arts at BGS and, while the learning, teaching and performances at the school are already excellent, I believe the inspirational surroundings of the new facility will help develop even more creativity and production value.” 

Paul Barber, South West Regional Director of Rydon, said: “The new PAC will be an inspiring place to for students to learn and perform and is an impressive new addition to complement Bristol Grammar School’s existing facilities. As a Bristol-based contractor we proudly bring our expertise in the construction of high-quality education facilities to this exciting project.” 

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