Planning permission has been granted for St John’s School Leatherhead, a leading co-educational independent secondary school, to develop new multi-million pound indoor sports facilities, which will include a swimming pool and a dance studio. As well as providing facilities for St John’s pupils, the pool will be available for use by local swimming clubs and neighbouring schools.
St John’s is renowned for its excellence in sport and its swimmers have enjoyed stellar results in national and county swimming competitions. Recently, St John’s pupils won three out of eight titles at the Bath Cup national gala, as well as individual and team titles at the Surrey Swimming Championships.
The new pool has been designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects; a practice with a longstanding track record in the delivery of world class sports facilities. Phase one of the project will be completed by October 2018 and includes replacement of the existing pool with a new gala standard, 25-metre, six-lane, indoor heated swimming pool, wet and dry changing facilities and a spectator area. In addition, the new building will contain a purpose-built state-of-the-art dance studio, a teaching classroom and office space.
As well as providing for its own pupils, St John’s will share the new facilities with the wider community. Local schools urgently need access to a swimming pool; around 40% of children leave primary school aged 11 unable to swim confidently. The new facilities will enable St John’s to expand its outreach programme further and work in partnership with more local primary schools and groups.
“We are delighted to be working with St John’s on this project, as it not only has the potential to bring huge benefit to the school itself, but the wider community too,” said Partner at FaulknerBrowns, Ian Wilson. “The particular challenge has been to design a building which sits alongside an existing 1980’s sports hall and presents a coherent composition.”
Participation in sport is a cornerstone of a St John’s education and helps our pupils learn team work, camaraderie, self-discipline and leadership while promoting their self-esteem, mental and physical wellbeing – Martin Collier, Headmaster at St. John’s
Headmaster at St. John’s, Martin Collier, added: “This project is the most significant development for sport at our school for over a generation. Participation in sport is a cornerstone of a St John’s education and helps our pupils learn team work, camaraderie, self-discipline and leadership while promoting their self-esteem, mental and physical wellbeing.
“As the School has grown in size, we have expanded the number of sports we offer and we have invested in expert coaches. So the time is right to move forward with new, future-proof, modern facilities which will inspire and develop the talents of our pupils and other local children.”
This latest news follows the announcement last month that a multi-disciplinary team consisting of FaulknerBrowns and Willmott Dixon had been named preferred bidder for a £46 million landmark project to create a combined schools and leisure campus in Ponteland, Northumberland.