New base for English department opens – funded entirely through donations
March 10, 2017
March 10, 2017
Staff and pupils are now enjoying the improved facilities and learning environment of the Heard Building, which has been refurbished, extended and converted into a new base for the English department.
Since the autumn, the Heard Building has been entirely reorganised and structurally strengthened, with a new link added to the adjacent Fern Building. The block provides self-contained accommodation for English, including eight classrooms and offices. It has been decorated with enlarged photographs of recent School drama productions.
The project was completed on time and on budget, its costs, totalling more than £1m, being met entirely by charitable giving through the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s.
Headmaster Neil Enright said: “We are extremely grateful to FQE for their tireless support and to the many parents, old boys and supporters of QE who have given so generously to enable us to complete this important project, which is the latest stage in our Estates Strategy.”
The building was first opened in May 1997 by the then-Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Chris Woodhead, when it was used to accommodate the growing Sixth Form. It was one of the very first projects to be supported by the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s.
It is named after Luxton Robert ‘George’ Heard (OE 1927–1936). Mr Heard, who died in 2009, was School Captain in his final year as a pupil. He later became QE’s Chairman of Governors, preceding the current Chairman, Barrie Martin, who took over in 1999. Mr Heard’s pupil record card – written by his Headmaster Ernest Harold Jenkins, who could be quite withering in his assessment of boys – states that he was “a real good fellow and an excellent School skipper…he carried nearly all School offices and societies on his shoulders” and that his “character and appearance [were] first-class”. He was, it notes, a “good scrum half”, a cricketer, the editor of the School magazine and that he “largely ran the Library and Dramatic Society”.
A new plaque has been mounted in the building next to the existing bust of Mr Heard. It pays tribute to the donors, including Arthur Perks (1935–1940), who left a substantial legacy to the School when he died last year. The plaque records that the architect for the refurbishment and extension project was Hollins Architects and the contractor was Borras Construction.
Mr Enright spoke of his gratitude to Borras, who have made a donation towards the cost of providing iPad Minis, which are shortly to be made available to teaching staff. The company’s London Construction Manager, Robert Broadfield, came into the School to present the donation.