Old College at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, was built for the original Royal Military College, completed in 1812 to the design of the world famous architect James Wyatt. Its completion coincided with the battle of Salamanca in which Wellington’s army finally destroyed the legend of French invincibility. In remembrance of this, six brass Waterloo cannons now feature along the front of the building. /p>
In the present, the building houses ‘Old College’, one of three colleges on the Sandhurst estate where all British Army officers undergo their initial training in leadership and other professional military skills, prior to receiving their commissions and joining their regiments.
Sandhurst, with its motto “Serve to Lead”, has a global reputation, however it is not a university despite over 85% of its entrants having university degrees. Almost 10% of the entrants are sent by overseas governments, for example, the late King Hussein of Jordan was one of the many notable foreign students admitted there.
Major works were carried out to Old College to include extensive roof structure repairs, replacement roof coverings and associated works whilst being encompassed by the largest freestanding scaffolding anywhere in Europe.
The renovation project, which was carried out whilst the building remained occupied, involved the replacement of roof slates and the removal of around 3,000 square metres of asbestos from roof voids. It also involved the deconstruction and rebuilding of 58 chimneys, which required the use of 1,700 tonnes of scaffolding.
Throughout the project and overall renovation process, a key focus was given to safeguarding priceless memorabilia, including those pieces located in the building’s ‘India Room’, and shielding unique stained-glass windows from damage.
The project timescale from commencement to completion was 12 months.
Encompassing a workforce of 200 different trades and managerial personnel, ensured the attention to detail required for damage prevention. The project was completed within the budget allocated at the initial costing and quantity survey phase being £4m.
The value added to the property due to the works carried out and completed is immeasurable as the property is government owned, a listed building, protected by national heritage and as such, the overall end value is priceless.