New Art and Design Technology Centre welcomes first visitors

Invited guests including campaign donors and Governors were among the first people to see inside Pocklington School’s new £2.5m Art and Design Technology Centre last week.

As Phase One of the new Centre neared completion, 80 people toured the new building to see for themselves how its facilities will inspire pupils to develop their creative skills.

Christopher Oughtred, Chairman of the fundraising campaign to build the new Art and Design Technology Centre, thanked donors for their generosity so far and said the total was now not far off the £1.9m mark, with a final push underway to meet the £2m campaign target.

Mark Ronan, the headmaster, read a note from Old Pocklingtonian and campaign patron, the playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, who sent his congratulations and good wishes. Sir Tom added: “In such times as these, the establishment of the Centre speaks volumes for the affection and regards in which the School is held, quite apart from good news for art and design technology.”

Actress Dame Judi Dench, who grew up in York, has also donated to the fundraising campaign, of which she is a patron.

The interior of the new Art and Design Technology Centre has been designed to meet the needs of both traditional art and design students and those specialising in new media disciplines. Local architect Simon Mitchell liaised with Art and Design Department staff to ensure everything – from the north light essential to artists, to the cutting-edge technology the building will house – could be used to maximum effect.

The gently sweeping silhouette of the brick-built building contrasts with an uncompromising interior, which has bare walls, polished concrete floors and exposed pipework. Open, light-filled spaces for collaborative work combine with purpose-built studios and workshops for the pursuit of digital imaging, editing, animation and computer-aided design and manufacturing technology. Photography students will have a darkroom as well as modern digital facilities, and two outdoor sculpture areas are also incorporated in the design.

Phase One of the Centre will be open for teaching in September. Work continues on Phase Two, which is expected to open to students in the Autumn.

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