Why does the school need to fundraise for this project?
Over the last ten years the school has invested very significantly in facilities. Aldhelmsted West, the new Kenelm, the conversion of the Beddington building, the new Science Centre, the Sixth Form Centre… the school has funded all of these projects and more without fundraisings. At a stretch we can fund £4.5M of the £7M Arts Centre project, but that leaves us with a £2.5M target. The appeal is a must.
I feel I’m paying enough in school fees. Why should I give?
This is an appeal: it’s voluntary and we have no expectation that everyone will give. However, it is a landmark project and the biggest fundraising challenge we have ever taken on, so we are really hoping that the Sherborne Girls world will respond with many people wanting to be part of it, at whatever level feels comfortable. We plan to put up a huge donor wall listing every donor (not the amount, just the name). A big list sends a powerful message to future generations.
How do I give?
At this stage what we need are pledges. Once planning consent has been approved, we will then ask people to ‘redeem’ their pledges. So all you need to do for now is to fill in the simple form on the Appeal web page here.
Can I name something?
Absolutely. There is a list of naming opportunities here (link to naming page). You can also join one of the ‘consortiums’ of Old Girls getting together to raise funds to name particular rooms after much-loved members of staff – again, see the Naming page for details.
How will the project benefit the non-arty girl?
Who says anyone is ‘non-arty’? One of our aims is to encourage more girls to have a go. The Arts Centre will give us the wherewithal to lay on more house plays, open mic nights, poetry readings, song writing. Then there is the benefit of the recital hall which will become the new venue for assemblies and for seminars. And the foyer space, will become the place for girls to meet up between lessons. More than this, the project will give a huge lift to our campus, making the school more attractive.
How will the Arts Centre benefit the wider community?
The recital hall will give us the venue to draw in musicians and audiences from beyond the immediate school community. This will be a really attractive space with superb acoustics and comfortable seating. Additionally, our new theatre in the converted Stuart Centre will allow us to host visiting professional productions.
What about car parking?
Yes, the new centre will take up most of the existing central car parking area, but there will still be a small car park for disabled visitors and deliveries. Other parking will have to move across the road to the Oxley Centre. So there will be a little more walking for people, but then it has never been ideal having a car park in the middle of the school.
What will happen to the tennis courts?
We will replace the tennis courts in front of Wingfield-Digby with two new courts added to those situated on the edge of the pitches, immediately to the south of the existing Art Department.