Terry Sutton note sent to Dover Express

Proposals for the redevelopment of Dover Grammar School for Boys, on the hill overlooking Astor Avenue, are to be revealed at an exhibition at the school on Tuesday, February 26 (3.30 pm-8 pm).

The exhibition, organised by Kier Construction Ltd, is designed to get the public’s reaction to the proposed changes. Kier say it is the company appointed by the Department for Education for any work.

For years there have been complaints from teaching staff that the iconic building, reflecting some aspects of Dover Castle across the valley, is no longer fit for purpose because of need for repairs and overcrowding. Kent County Council, owners of the school building, has been considering the future but keeping quiet about the future.

The school building was officially opened in December 1931 seven years after the Astor Avenue site, near the top of Whinless Down, was selected. The hillside had to be terraced for the building and for the extensive playing fields.

One of the present ideas has been to demolish the building and re-build another on the site, yet another to provide additional classrooms on the playing fields. A more ambitious proposal is to build a completely new school building on one of the playing fields, possibly Leney’s Field.

Thousands of Dover and Deal students have received their education in the present building with some expressing opposition to demolishing the property.

The “old boys” organisation, the Old Pharosians Association , even asked the local civic group, The Dover Society, about its views if action should be taken to try to get the school building listed because of its architecture value which was designed, with its tower, to reflect aspects of Dover Castle. The Dover Society replied it was worth a try.

Dear Occupier/Local Resident.

We warmly invite you to come along to an informal drop-in exhibition to view preliminary proposals for the redevelopment of Dover Grammar School for Boys. The exhibition will be displayed in the main gym at Dover Grammar School for Boys, Astor Avenue, Dover, Kent. CT17 0DQ, on Tuesday 26th February 2019 from 3:30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

We are holding this event because we want to hear your views and opinions on our initial proposals, which will be taken into account as the scheme is developed.

I am writing to you on behalf of Kier Construction Limited, who are the construction company appointed by the Department for Education. Our proposals have been developed in consultation with Dover Grammar School for Boys and the Department for Education. We hope you can drop into the exhibition, which will be clearly signed when you arrive at the school entrance. Kind regards

Martin Jones

Senior Design Manager

Kier Construction Southern.