With the support of the Parents, Staff and Friends Association IVC unlocked a grant of £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project linked to the main Grade 1 Listed building. The project centred around important repair and restoration work to the main building which was designed by famous architect, Walter Gropius.
In 2008 Impington Village College commissioned an Historic Buildings Appraisal of the main Gropius Building. Although the building exists relatively unchanged, the appraisal identified some significant deterioration as well as several original features and schemes of ‘very high significance’ that have been lost or altered. One feature that appeared prominently in the appraisal was the façade of the Gropius Hall which was noted as being of ‘very high significance’. The recommendation from the appraisal, which is supported by English Heritage and the local authority Historic Buildings Officer, was that the front elevation of the Gropius Building be repaired and restored before further deterioration is suffered. Phase one of the project has now been completed, and more information on this can be found by clicking here.
The appraisal also identified the windows and use of glass across the whole building as a key architectural feature which should be preserved and restored. This extends through the building to the main corridor area, all classrooms and the community wing where a majority of the non-school activity takes place. English Heritage has recommended that where possible the existing windows should be restored rather than replaced. The cost of completing this work across the whole building is significant, so in the first instance the restoration project intends to address those windows with most significant damage.
What work is planned?
Phase two of the restoration project will therefore consider the run of windows adjoining the area known as the Prom.
Over the next 10 years a significant amount of restoration work is needed across the whole Gropius Building. This work is estimated to cost in excess of £1 million including building work, repair and replacement of windows and internal fixtures.
The College receives a capital maintenance grant from central government of just £27,000 per annum which must include maintenance of the whole site, of which the Gropius Building comprises less than one sixth. Within the existing maintenance budget it is only possible for the College to complete work that is absolutely essential to the basic functioning of the building. As elements of the Gropius Building deteriorate over the coming years the Village College will struggle to fund basic repairs and maintenance. If the College is to maintain the Gropius Building and its heritage for the benefit of future generations, it is crucial that alternative sources of income are secured.