Transformation of pub for school progressing


Kirstie Dolphin

A PRIVATE school is moving forward with transforming a pub into a boarding house.

Ruthin School, which bought Ye Olde Anchor on Rhos Street, Ruthin, in September 2013, has appointed contractors to turn the former public house into student accommodation, for 30 upper sixth form students.

Powell Williams, with offices based in Chester, has secured planning and is managing the £1.5 million investment by Ruthin School.

The independent day and boarding school purchased the 12,500 sq ft building toward the end of 2013, following its sudden closure as a hotel in November 2012.
Ruthin School principal, Toby Belfield, said: “The student population at Ruthin School is growing rapidly and we are in need of new boarding facilities. The inn had been empty for some time and was in danger of becoming an eyesore, so our acquisition provided the perfect opportunity to secure new accommodation and revitalise the building.

“We’re very pleased with how the project is progressing and with the scheme designed by Powell Williams, which will give us a modern, energy efficient boarding house in a beautiful old building in the heart of the town. We’re looking forward to seeing it completed and welcome its first new residents.”

Having been used as a hotel for many years, the upstairs internal layout will be retained to create 22 en-suite bedrooms.

Downstairs will be a further eight student rooms, kitchen, dining area and common room. A separate three-bedroom apartment with kitchen and living space is also being created, with private garden, to provide accommodation for the housemaster’s family.

Externally, the black-and-white painted façade will be replaced with a modern silicone render to create a fresh new look.

It is hoped the works will be completed by the end of May to coincide with Ruthin School’s Annual Prize Giving celebration.

Powell Williams has now appointed J Mills contractors to the project, which is set to commence in February.

He said: “This is a landmark building within Ruthin and this project will see it revived and given a new lease of life as school boarding accommodation, securing its future. The building has been chopped and changed and extended over the years, not always sympathetically, so our plan is to bring it up to modern standard, improve its energy efficiency and give it a clean, crisp uncluttered feel, creating a lovely place for the students to live.”

The exposed oak beams will be retained as a feature within a clean and modern design.

Windows on the two front elevations will be replaced with sash style UPVC, designed to both respect the history of the building and improve energy efficiency.

See full story in the Free Press

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