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Bob the builder! New building project proposals at the Dulwich Colleges

Investment in infrastructure and facilities is key to our ability to deliver on the promise of an outstanding, world class education. While most of us are away enjoying the Summer holidays there will still be a hive of activity at the schools, mostly on improvements to existing facilities. In this article we discuss with DCM’s Shane Frecklington, Director of Operations and Ann Ng, Associate, on the oncoming capital works planned for Shanghai, Beijing and Suzhou. Dulwich College Shanghai Over the coming Summer holiday there is a focus at DUCKS on beautification: landscaping and re-surfacing of the playgrounds. Internally there is more of a cosmetic and interior design upgrade. We are upgrading the reception (front desk) area and improving the acoustics in the dining hall along with incorporating some more colour and life to these common areas. In the Junior school, there will be a new Junior School reception. The Head and Deputy Head offices will be moved down to the first floor. There will be a complete makeover of the Junior School Courtyard area. The Courtyard will be broken up into two distinct sections: one will be a more natural “green-scaped” setting with specialist flora and seating. The idea being to provide a green space for lunch time. The other section will be an open play area incorporating 2 junior-sized basketball courts. The two sections will be divided by a “bouldering wall” which is a type of wall that can be traversed (as opposed to climbed). The Junior School will also have four customized break-out reading areas on the 2nd and 3rd floors. This improves the current situation where much of the reading is now done in class and the concept is to provide a more peaceful space without distractions for students and teachers. Within the overall master plan and in the longer term there are plans for expansion to the Junior school canteen. In the Senior school there is an upgrade to the entrance to the senior school and the parent waiting area. There will be a new dedicated University Counsellors area that will re-located to the 2nd floor of the senior school library. This places it in close proximity to the post-16 year old students. The IB common room will be remodeled into a self service style kitchen in order for the senior students to prepare some of their own meals and drinks. We are looking at expanding the security guard house to include a small waiting area for guests while they wait to be collected by their intended internal contact. There are plans for a canopy that will extend over the entrance. The main front gate will be changed to foot traffic only, the bike shed will be moved further towards the senior school and there will be a dedicated bike entrance to the north of the main gate. Internally within both the Junior and Senior schools there is an interior redecorating component that will incorporate new integrated design concept. Under our longer term master plan, we have submitted and are awaiting planning approval for a new sports facility and aquatic centre along with expansion plans for the DUCKs, the Junior, and Senior schools. The overall objective is to continuously improve our facilities for students and staff. Dulwich College Beijing At Dulwich College Beijing the big news is the completion of the new sports dome in time to be open for operation by the start of the new academic year. The Dome provides an additional 7000sqm plot size. The Dome is an inflatable membrane that will house two full sized basketball courts. The flooring will consist of state of the art herculean flooring. It will be attached to a newly renovated 2-storey club house which will not only house changing room facilities but also will include new look coffee and book club spaces. In addition to the Dome there are a number of smaller beautification projects at all of the campuses. The existing soccer pitch will be completely overhauled and replaced by a first class astro-turf surface covering. The new surface will comply with FIFA 2 star testing standards. DCB longer term master plan includes a remodeling of the parking to improve the flow of the traffic. Dulwich College Suzhou The Dulwich College Suzhou students and staff will be excited by the prospect of a brand new senior school campus that is planned to be completed in August 2012. This US$20 million project will include a 25-metre, 8-lane indoor swimming pool, large gymnasium, 2 theatres, a 2-storey media and IB centre, arts and design suites, 5 science labs and a coffee shop. In addition, a 33m land mark clock tower will also stand between the school building and the boarding facilities, providing a reference to the architectural heritage of Dulwich College London (and the cover of this magazine – Editor). The college will also be the first Dulwich College in China to offer boarding for up to 204 students. The completed project will give DCSZ facilities that would be the envy of any school in the world. It ain’t easy being green. This is not just the philosophy of Kermit the frog. Shane and Ann have been busy with pursuing another exciting dimension for the DCSZ project: LEED certification. Once completed DCSZ will be the 1st LEED-certified school in China. The LEED certification process is not to be taken likely it involves the incorporation of five components including site selection, building design, construction and materials used and how the building is operated and managed. What does LEED stand for? It stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.