On Wednesday 6th July, over 100 guests including students, staff, parents, governors and staff from fellow schools came together at the opening of the new Churston Ferrers Art and Music Centre. Angela Gilbert, High Sheriff of Devon 2016/17 was invited with her husband Geoffrey to the evening of exhibitions and live music, and watched with Lee Cottrell, Kirkham Board Project Manager and the assembled guests, as the building was officially opened by Susan Gunn Johnson, Retired Deputy Head of CFGS.
The new centre has involved converting the old music and art rooms through a refurbishment and extension, to create a very large new music and performance space, with smaller practice rooms off these. Also one art room was refurbished, with a new big store, office and a large new classroom that contains a gallery space.
The project cost £500,000 and was funded through the EFA (Education Finance Agency) providing £430,000 with the rest of the funding coming from school funds and money raised by the school community. Plans have been in process since 2013, after initial bids for funding were not successful, but continued determination and new plans have enabled the project to be successful.
In the past the facilities for Art and Music were some of the oldest in the school and very outdated. With great work being produced in these departments, a music performance area and art gallery, alongside upgraded teaching areas was a priority for the school. The end result has been transformational for both departments.
Headteacher Bob Owers said, “The addition of our new Art and Music Block is a reflection of the importance we attach to the arts at Churston Ferrers Grammar School. We have some incredibly talented artists and musicians at Churston and they deserve the very best facilities in which to develop their talents.”
Angela Gilbert, High Sheriff of Devon 2016/17, commented by saying, “I was involved in a Nadfas Schools competition in the SW several years ago and soon realised the high standard of both art and photography in the school. The standard of the GCSE and A level Art, Photography and Textiles seems incredibly high. We enjoyed listening to the music in the new music room and particularly enjoyed the last piano piece, which was played with such expertise, with emotional phrasing. The new building will certainly help students at Churston Grammar continue to produce their exceptionally high standard.”Follow