Liverpool’s Whitby High School Gets a Music Block

LIVERPOOL, England — When we Yanks think of the city of Liverpool, it’s likely the resounding chorus of a Beatles song that first comes to mind. Though the Fab Four’s collective shadow looms large over the port city, the area is also known for its educational centers and its emphasis on technology and — of course — music. Stepping in to help brush up this legacy with a new development, the U.K. firm of John Turner Construction Group Ltd., has secured a £1.9 million ($2.65 million) contract for the redevelopment of The Whitby High School in Cheshire, England.

The Whitby High School, a co-educational secondary foundation school with about 1,600 students, will receive a single-story music and technology block. John Turner is also slated to transform a 19th century docklands warehouse in Liverpool into a digital business hub. The firm, established well over a century ago in 1907, keeps offices in the cities of Preston, Liverpool and Manchester and boasts construction, maintenance, joinery manufacturing and electrical service divisions.

In addition to the new block, the project will also include two new covered walkways across a courtyard to provide a link to the historic Overpool Building, which was originally constructed in 1959 as part of a prior academic venture before The Whitby High School coalesced into its own institution in the 1980s.

The Whitby High School Will Feature Three Music Rooms

The new digs will feature three music rooms — each with its own practice area, though there will also be a “practice court” comprised of six individual rooms. New student lockers and store rooms will also be made available. Intended to complement the existing structures, the new building will likewise boast the school’s signature blue-hued color palette. To help ventilate the building, windcatchers will be installed within the central clerestory roof, a dome, which will be formed by solar tubes that will provide natural sunlight.

A raised central corridor roof will underscore the building’s emerging new aesthetic, which will be festooned with acoustic panelling to help separate the technology classrooms from the music department and any noise either might produce. Likewise, a buff brick building will house two classrooms dedicated to both design and technology. There will also be two classrooms for food technology and food preparation areas. The construction will be phased such that the school will remain operational throughout the process, which begins this month.

The entire venture is within a 30-minute drive to Albert Dock, a landmark for Beatle-maniacs and the site of a variety of Beatle-themed attractions, including museums and other sightseeing opportunities.

Despite being adjacent to rock ‘n’ roll history, The Whitby High School is better known for its sports program. It made headlines when voted Sports Secondary School of the Year for the whole Cheshire region and claims at least half a dozen famous footballers as former pupils.