27th September 2018 — The opening ceremony was conducted by the Rt Hon Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom & Ewell, in front of the Mayor, guests and governors, pupils.
Mr Grayling reflected upon his first visit to Kingswood House several years ago, when facilities were less modern than today, and commented: ‘The transformation is startling; it is a wonderful building with marvellous facilities. Congratulations to all involved in the design and build. Congratulations also to Mr Brooks, who is a distinguished former Headmaster, and thoroughly deserves this accolade’.
Mr Peter Brooks also spoke briefly: “I am deeply humbled and proud to have this building named after me – but it is a little strange too! ’
Mr Brooks joined the school in 1976 and became Headmaster in 1992; he retired after 42 years in July 2017, his final initiative being to suggest the increase in age range for pupils at the school up to sixteen.
Mr Chris Shipley, Chairman of Governors, told guests:“The governors are delighted to have this new facility to enhance our Senior Years, where boys can continue their education through to GSCE in a supportive environment, and now with exceptional teaching facilities, here at Kingswood House.”
He paid tribute to the Bursar and her staff as well as the contractors, Darwin Construction, who remarkably completed the project in under 20 weeks.
In addition to modern classrooms, the Peter Brooks Building houses a library, an Art studio, a seminar room, offices for divisional heads and a Year 11 Common Room.
A shift in the mind-set of independent schools in this area, such as the decline of the Common Entrance exam, the introduction of Pre-Tests and the increasing number of independent senior schools reducing their entry age to 11, prompted a strategic review which resulted in KHS extending their age range up to 16+ in 2016. The ambition of this project has now been realised with the bespoke accommodation on offer for the senior boys. Furthermore, in the last five years, the School has also opened a new Upper Prep Department (2013) and a new Lower Prep Department (2014) as well as new Humanities classrooms (2014) and a fully-equipped Design & Technology suite (2018) - with a total investment of over £2.5M.