King William’s College

King Williams College is a historic listed building located in the outskirts of Castletown, Isle of Man. Constructed in the 1830s, the building has been continuously used as a school since opening almost 200 years ago.

During early discussions, an in-depth analysis was undertaken with the school and local authorities. This analysis allowed for a better understanding of the requirements of the building and the people using it. It was found that the classrooms and departments had mostly been refurbished in the 1950s, or as maintenance had dictated, and were no longer performing as best as they could.

As the building has aged, so too had the internal fixtures and finishes, it was clear that the departments had functional challenges to overcome, these included; improvements to the fire strategy (most notably to the doors and compartments), accessibility considerations (where ever possible), regrading of lecture theatre seating to improve safety, levelling of uneven timber floors, removal of hazardous substances (asbestos, mercury and potential chemicals from past teaching) and improvement / restoration / replacement of damaged finishes generally.

Regular discussions were held with the local planning authority, building control department and conservation officer to ensure the design proposals and approach were acceptable and in keeping with current Isle of Man regulations (which differed from those in England and the UK).

The refurbishment provided the opportunity to address changing teaching styles, enabling increased use of technology, a refreshed appearance to the departments and enhanced service infrastructure in the school.