'Cheers!' - New science and tech centre gets a wet welcome

At the Gresham's School Dyson Building topping out ceremony

At the Gresham's School Dyson Building topping out ceremony were, from left, Robert Dale from Daniel Connal Partnership; Douglas Robb, Gresham’s headmaster; Dennis Cotton from Kier; Michael Goff, Gresham’s chairman of governors and Michele Manzella from Wilkinson Eyre. - Credit: Kier

Beer was poured onto the roof of a new science and technology building at Gresham's School in a traditional 'topping out' ceremony. 

The bottles of Moon Gazer Jigfoot produced by the Norfolk Brewhouse were used to mark the milestone on the project, which former pupil and Britain's richest man Sir James Dyson funded through a £19 million gift.

The Dyson Building is to be a centre for  science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education. 

The new Dyson Building at Gresham's School in Holt has had its topping out ceremony. 

The new Dyson Building at Gresham's School in Holt has had its topping out ceremony. - Credit: Kier

Douglas Robb, Gresham’s headmaster, said, “As Sir James himself would say engineers are people who look at problems and find solutions.

"We believe it’s important that young people are given the opportunity to get hands on with real projects, learn through trial and error and find solutions. Sir James’ generosity has allowed us to build a space where problem solving is at the heart of our educational thinking.


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"The Dyson Building will act as catalyst to encourage young people to think laterally, work collaboratively and ultimately learn from their failures.”

A topping-out ceremony is traditionally held when the last beam or its equivalent is placed atop a structure during its construction.

Sir James Dyson Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Sir James Dyson Picture: PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

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Mr Robb sand Michael Goff, the school's chairman of governors, did the honours for the Dyson project.

The building has been designed to have an open, light feel to it. It has a steel frame and will house classrooms, laboratories, workshops and flexible-use open plan common areas. It is due to be opened in September.

Dennis Cotton, operations director at Kier, the main contractor on the project, said: “Kier is proud to be delivering, in collaboration with Gresham’s, a building that will enhance pupils’ learning for generations to come.”

Sir James Dyson, who was born in Cromer, was a student at Gresham's from 1956 to 1965. He funded the building partly to thank the school, which funded his education after the death of his father, who was a teacher there.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2020, he is Britain's richest person with an estimated net worth of £16.2 billion.

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