Duke of York's Royal Military School

Official opening of new school buildings at historic school

Published on isbi School News dated Thursday 18th of November 2010

Staff, students, Feoffees and Governors of Old Swinford Hospital, celebrate the opening of three new buildings as part of a £10.5 million expansion scheme.

Over 140 guests, including local dignitaries and former staff, attended the official plaque unveiling of a new boarding house, new teaching block and arts centre and an extension to the school's sports centre on 1 October.

Guests of honour, performing the unveilings, were Governor Alderman Jack Edmonds OBE, former Headmaster Christopher Potter OBE MA (Cantab) and Feoffee Lt Gen Sir John Foley KCB, OBE, MC, DL, a direct descendent of Thomas Foley who founded Old Swinford Hospital in 1667.

The Edmonds Sports Centre, which now boasts a new fitness suite, classroom, all-weather multi-use pitch and all-weather cricket nets, has been named after Jack Edmonds who has been a School Governor for 37 years and a Feoffee (Trustee) for 33 years.

The Potter boarding house, now the largest boarding house in the school providing accommodation for 85 students, has been named after Christopher Potter, Headmaster from 1978-2001.

The Foleyan Centre, which has classrooms, a new arts studio and a hi-tech performing arts centre, was officially opened by Sir John Foley.

The project has taken three years to complete. The buildings were due to be officially opened earlier this year, but the Icelandic ash cloud prevented it from going ahead. Headmaster Peter Jones and several dignitaries were stranded abroad when the volcano erupted, putting pay to the planned opening on April 23.

Mr Jones said: 'We are a unique state boarding school and whilst we are not the largest, we are certainly one of the most successful

'Our £10.5 million expansion project has enhanced the educational and boarding provision creating more opportunities for students to thrive and excel.

'In addition, the new boarding house means we can offer more boarding places for boys and continue to maintain the atmosphere, high standards and ethos of our school. Old Swinford Hospital has become synonymous with an outstanding range of extra-curricular opportunities that enrich school life, develop potential and play a significant part in creating happy, fulfilled and well-adjusted young people.'
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