Bolton School’s state-of-the-art £7m Riley Sixth Form Centre was eponymously named and officially opened by benefactor and Old Boy, Mr Ian Riley.
The lunchtime celebration was opened by Headmistress of the Girls’ Division, Sue Hincks, and the School’s new Captain, Paul Greenhalgh and Head Girl, Jess Melling. All lavished praise on the new centre, which has been in use since September last year, and spoke of how it provides the best of both worlds - a hub for social activities and study whilst allowing the School to retain single sex teaching.
Chairman of Governors Mr Michael Griffiths, a former Old Boy and Captain himself, paid tribute to those whose generosity over the past 500 years has allowed the School to flourish, including Robert Lever in the mid seventeenth century and William Hesketh Lever, later to become Lord Leverhulme, in the early twentieth century. He offered thanks to alumni and friends of the School who had offered substantial contributions to fund the construction of the stunning elliptical glass-fronted building, which links to the Senior Girls’ and Senior Boys’ Schools by two-tier walkways and completes Leverhulme’s vision of a central quadrangle based on the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge.
A plaque was unveiled in the Sixth Form Centre Reception by Mr Riley in front of dozens of guests that included donors, governors, present and former Head Teachers, current and past pupils as well as other friends of the school.
The celebrations continued with guests enjoying a buffet lunch whilst being entertained by the Junior Saxophone Quartet. Headmaster of the Boys’ Division, Philip Britton, brought the event to a close by officially bestowing the title, the Leverhulme Suite on the large multi-functional space on the ground floor of the building.
The new centre includes an ICT suite, seminar rooms with touch-screen tvs, quiet study areas, a common room, a refectory cafe area, exhibition space and the main school reception. Its completion marked the fourth stage in a building programme which has seen the construction of a new Bolton School Infant School, a new Junior Girls' School and the refurbishment and extension of the Junior Boys' School. It was designed by Cassidy and Ashton Architects and built by Seddons.