Dean Close has a sympathetic blend of grand Victorian buildings and modern purpose-built facilities across its substantial 50 acre site. Over the last 20 years, the School has made a marked investment in ambitious building and refurbishment projects. Some of these are detailed below.
Boarding pupils are housed in a mixture of traditional, refurbished and contemporary, new-build houses. Brook Court House was opened in 1999 by the Count and Countess of Wessex providing fresh, modern facilities for 64 boys. Tower House, also for boys, is located in the heart of the School and is one of the original buildings. In 2004 it was completely gutted, from ground to roof, and refurbished in a £1m project, after which it was officially opened by Bear Grylls. A brand new girls’ house, Shelburne Hall, was opened by Estelle Morris MP in 2003 featuring a skylight that runs the length of the House with glass tiles beneath, allowing natural light to filter through the floors. This complements the other girls’ boarding house, Fawley, a traditional Victorian House situated on the outskirts of the School grounds.
The exceptional two-storey Art School was purpose-built in 1995 and provides a versatile, spacious and creative environment. The entrance opens into the BonBernard Gallery, a light, lofty space that hosts a broad range of both pupil and visiting exhibitions. In the past these have included Picasso and Matisse. The facility also boasts excellent studio spaces for specialist work in 2 and 3 dimensions, with individually allocated work areas for Sixth Form pupils.
Opened in 1997 by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, the Music School is an exciting purpose-built construction created solely for the purpose of making music. Its vibrant style comes from the young designer whose aim was to inspire artistic conception amongst its users using curved walls and exposed brick walls. As a specialist facility, the Music School has been able to accommodate every amenity from a hi-tech recording studio to an elegant concert hall. Further enhanced by its hand-made stained glass windows, banners and acoustic curtain, the overall effect is stunning.
Opened in 1991, the Bacon Theatre is a professional standard theatre which includes a two level 550-seat auditorium, a huge stage with hydraulic orchestra pit and state-of-the-art technical equipment. It is entered via a magnificent marbled-floored Orangery furnished with a licenced bar and tea/coffee counter. Below the stage sits a large Green Room equipped with lit-up make-up area and changing room facilities.
A £3m sports hall providing state-of-the-art facilities was officially opened by Sir Geoff Hurst in 2007. The new building accommodates basketball, football, hockey, badminton, tennis, volleyball, netball and cricket, enhancing wet weather programming and allowing a broader range of coaching techniques. A fitness suite fitted with hi-tech training equipment and weights, dance/aerobics studio, seminar room, a viewing gallery also feature. Most recently, an attractive sports pavilion has been erected opposite the sports hall. The School has many other excellent facilities for sport including two floodlit water based astro turfs, 25m indoor pool, tennis courts, athletics field including throwing cage, squash courts, rifle range and climbing wall.
The School Chapel was opened in 1923 as a memorial to Old Decanians who fell in the Great War, dedicated on the 1st November, All Saints Day. It seats over 500 worshippers and is used by the Preparatory and Senior schools on a weekly basis.