Topping Out at the new ref
An traditonal ceremony took place at the new refectory building called a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony. Such ceremonies used to be common place in the building trade to celebrate the progress of a new build and to thank the teams that have been involved. These ceremonies are now more unusual with the time constraints placed on building projects. Mr Julian Ridley, the Bursar, was asked to point one of the stones on the top of the building to celebrate the hard work of all those involved in the project. Mr David Billington, a director of Globe Construction the builders for the project, explained that this sort of ceremony was first recorded in 1393 during the building of Winchester College.
The new refectory built on the historic grounds of the 400 year old school will be in use by the school from January 2013. Michael Hartley of Cassidy & Ashton, the architects, said that when the plans were submitted to English Heritage they described the building as, ‘...a quietly modern building in an historic setting.’ The new building also has state of the art solar powered hot water, under floor heating being generated from water to water heat source pumps fed from the school’s own water supply – all of which helps makes the building sustainable and eco friendly.
Mr Ridley thanked everyone who worked on the build for their hard work and patience, especially with the recent Lancashire weather which had made the build a very challenging one but, ‘We know we will have a fantastic facility which will take the catering at the school to new levels in a wonderful new refectory.’
The building has stunning views down the drive with its double height windows at the front of the dining area, making this both a beautiful and practical building that fits in well with the Grade I listed main school.