The redevelopment of the Bekynton Field site will shortly be coming to an end after many years of planning and building work. The Modern Languages department will be moving into the new Birley Schools early in2014. The Divinity department will take occupation of the new Lyttelton Schools in time for the start of the Summer half 2014 and the Economics and Politics department will similarly move into the new Elliott Schools at the same time. In all, 40 new schoolrooms, together with ancillary accommodation, will be provided.
The new schoolrooms on the Bekynton Field site will be arranged a newly created space which has been named McCrum Yard. The fourth side of the quadrangle of McCrum Yard will be formed by a new building that will provide a lecture theatre and exhibition gallery. The lecture theatre will provide a space for a seated audience of 300 and is designed chiefly as a debating chamber although there is some flexibility for audio visual presentation. The new Jafar Gallery will provide a home for the College’s Myers collection of Egyptology.
The completion of the Bekynton Field development will be followed by a series of subsequent new developments around Eton College. The first of these will be the conversion of the Carter Centre into a full sized Boarding House to be used as temporary accommodation for boys and staff whilst their permanent accommodation is thoroughly refurbished. The building will provide 53, mostly en-suite, study bedrooms together with House Master, Dame and staff accommodation. There will also be provided a lecture theatre and seminar rooms: the intention being that the facilities can provide income generating conference accommodation out of school time. Planning consent for the development has already been secured and construction work should start in the summer of 2014.
Work will also start in 2014 on the conversion of Warre Schools into a Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning. The new facility will provide a base for a number of functions relating to pedagogy. In particular, there will be a purpose built schoolroom with observation facilities for the study of teaching techniques. There will also be an area of the building devoted to the exploration of the effect of new technology on teaching and the Learning Centre will also be accommodated within this building.
With an eye to the slightly longer term, some very preliminary design work is also being done on improving Eton College’s indoor sports facilities. The aim is hopefully to build, within the next few years, a new indoor swimming pool together with a new indoor sports hall, new squash courts and fitness suite.