SEEKING YOUR VIEWS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SOUTH WING ON THE RBAI CAMPUS

A NEW SOUTH WING ON THE RBAI CAMPUS

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) is seeking views on the construction of a new proposed South Wing on the RBAI Campus.

This proposed development will secure the School’s future on the site, providing the necessary infrastructure to support the educational needs of 1,100 pupils and staff who contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of the City Centre.

Plans for the new South Wing include a multi-purpose Dining Hall, 15 general classrooms, a drama suite, a 25m swimming pool, a Board Room suite, living accommodation for the School Steward, a new small extension to the Soane Building and the development of landscaped zones.

Facilitating the redevelopment of the site involves the demolition of existing school infrastructure that is not fit for purpose, including the dining hall, swimming pool and W-Block.

ABOUT THE APPLICANT

RBAI has been educating boys in the heart of Belfast for over 200 years.

Built on values of excellence, respect, and participation, RBAI provides an outstanding and inspirational education, attracting each year, a diverse range of pupils from over 50 feeder primary schools across Belfast and beyond.

RBAI is a multi-cultural Grammar School in the heart of the city centre community, that is passionate about equipping young people to take their place in society.

WHY THIS DEVELOPMENT IS NEEDED

Teaching and learning styles are constantly evolving, the use of technology is advancing, along with the recognition that having a positive learning environment is critical to pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

RBAI is restricted by buildings which were designed for a very different era and an extensive review of the School’s estate highlighted:

  • The classrooms in the 1920’s W Block no longer meet the Department of Education space standards and are not fit for purpose.
  • With more than 12,000 individual usages each year, the Swimming Pool which was built in the 1960’s, and the 1950’s Dining Hall, serving over 700 boys daily, are no longer fit for purpose.
  • COVID showed that high quality internal and external spaces are essential for the wellbeing of pupils and staff.
  • Improvements to the surrounding area, including the new Transport Hub, offer opportunities for RBAI to better connect to the city.

EQUIPPING PUPILS TO EXCEL

  • RBAI’s proposals will provide the necessary school infrastructure, with modern fit for purpose facilities, that support the educational needs, growth and development of 1,100 pupils and staff.
  • Proposed plans will secure the future of RBAI as a centre of academic excellence, with high quality efficient buildings designed to be adaptable and flexible in meeting the needs of evolving curriculum requirements.
  • The development of new landscaped zones will improve pupil and staff wellbeing.
  • The planned development will enhance RBAI’s historic buildings and site, extending the role of the School as a thriving social hub in the city centre.
  • Near Zero Carbon development will see energy inefficient buildings replaced with new infrastructure, significantly reducing the School’s carbon footprint.
RBAI

THE ROYAL BELFAST
ACADEMICAL INSTITUTION

College Square East,
Belfast, BT1 6DL

T: 02890 240461
E: haveyoursay@rbai.org.uk

© 2023 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution