The lunchtime celebration was hosted by headmistress of the Girls’ Division, Sue Hincks, the school’s new captain, Paul Greenhalgh, and head girl, Jess Melling. All lavished praise on the new centre, which has been in use since September last year, and spoke of how it provides the best of both worlds; it is a hub for social activities and study, while allowing the school to retain single sex teaching.
Chairman of governors, Mr Michael Griffiths, an alumni and captain himself, paid tribute to the generosity spanning over the past 500 years, that has allowed the school to flourish. Along with notable past figures, he also offered thanks to alumni and friends of the school who offered substantial contributions to fund the construction of the centre. An elliptical glass-fronted building, it links to the Senior Girls’ and Senior Boys’ schools by two-tier walkways, completing Leverhulme’s vision of a central quadrangle based on the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge.
A plaque was unveiled in the sixth form centre reception by Mr Riley in front of dozens of guests that included donors, governors, present and former head teachers, current and past pupils, as well as other friends of the school.
The celebrations continued with guests enjoying a buffet lunch, while being entertained by the Junior Saxophone Quartet. Headmaster of the Boys’ division, Philip Britton, brought the event to a close by officially bestowing the title – the Leverhulme Suite – on the large multi-functional space on the ground floor of the building.
The new centre includes an ICT suite, seminar rooms with touch-screen TVs, quiet study areas, a common room, a refectory cafe area, exhibition space and the main school reception.
Its completion marked the fourth stage in a building programme that has seen the construction of a new Bolton School Infant School, a new Junior Girls’ School and the refurbishment and extension of the Junior Boys’ School. It was designed by Cassidy + Ashton Architects and built by Seddons.