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October 4th 2017

Reaching new heights at the Blackheath High Topping Out Ceremony

On Tuesday 3 October, we took to the roof of our new Senior School building to celebrate a significant milestone in our multi-million pound redevelopment, with a traditional ‘Topping Out’ ceremony. 

The school has been part of Blackheath’s community since 1880 and the Senior School moved to its current site in Vanbrugh Park in 1994. The current redevelopment builds on the school’s long tradition of providing inspirational learning spaces that promote reflection, scholarship and socialisation.

The ‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks the highest point of the construction, which began in 2014, reaching its highest point.

Phase 1 of the project, which was completed in July 2016, focused on the school’s Sixth Form Centre; designed to inspire a mature, pre-university atmosphere. The second stage of this cutting-edge construction comprises  a new art/DT and music wing, a three storey main entrance building, an exhibition space, a library that will be sunk into a new lower ground floor, a courtyard providing additional social space, enlarged sports storage and changing facilities, a fitness suite and an enlarged dining area. The centre piece feature of the new build will be a stunning Nathaniel Westlake stained glass installation originally from Mary Datchelor School in Camberwell. 

Head, Mrs Chandler-Thompson, said: “I have had the pleasure of being involved in planning, implementation and now execution, of an inspirational redevelopment that will utterly transform the school. The stunning architectural design makes the most of our footprint in a beautiful location by creating a stunning library at lower ground floor level, thereby freeing up green space at the heart of the school. The design links up all of our buildings, bringing us even closer as a community and introducing innovative and creative spaces for the benefit of students. We are incredibly excited by the benefits these beautiful buildings will bring to the school community. The most exciting part has been the reaction of the students, who now can’t wait to enjoy all the opportunities this new space will provide.” 

Students marked the occasion by writing inspirational messages on a steel beam which was later lowered into the building, marking a major milestone in the construction process. Guests, including parents, neighbours and GDST representatives, were also highly entertained by a group of students performing a unique musical percussion piece using equipment from the site!  

Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) Chairman, Juliet Humphries, commented: “This redevelopment means that Blackheath High School is set to have some of the best facilities of any senior school in the country, let alone London. It’s an incredibly exciting investment by the GDST and represents real transformational change. I’m proud to have a forward-thinking, innovative school like Blackheath High within the GDST. It has a distinguished long history and we look forward to its shining future.”

The redevelopment is being carried out by contractors Rooff and is set to be completed at the end of 2018.  

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