The first phase will house the Geography, Philosophy and Religious Studies departments. The building will be integrated into the current Merton classroom block, which will provide a central hub for all of the School’s languages and humanities subjects.
The project has been designed by GSSArchitecture, who originally designed the Merton classroom block 24 years ago.
The second phase will create a new Business School, which will house Business Studies, Economics and Politics. “The building will provide contemporary state-of-the-art business facilities, and multi-function break-out spaces for individual and group based learning,” said GSSArchitecture partner, David Allsop. “We look forward to seeing this phase in the School’s development take shape over the coming year.”
“It is an incredibly busy time for new developments at Oakham,” said Bursar, Annika Hedrich-Wiggans, who is overseeing the construction. “This is just one of our exciting major developments. As well as these new classrooms, we are also currently building a new sports pavilion and working on plans for our new Music School.”
Before work could commence, archaeologists excavated the site (in line with standard planning conditions). Their work revealed a medieval fishpond that would have been managed as part of the Oakham Castle estate. Preserved wooden fishing net pegs were recovered along with animal bones and pottery shards dating from the Late Saxon to early modern periods indicating that the site has been continuously in use throughout Oakham’s history.
Construction is now underway, and pupils should be able to enjoy lessons in the new facility by early 2015.