How did it come about that Brighton Grammar School was given the opportunity to build on the site of the St Andrew’s tennis courts?
Four years ago our Headmaster, Ross Featherston, was approached by the then vicar of St Andrew’s, The Reverend Canon Jan Joustra, to see if Brighton Grammar School would be interested in collaborating with St Andrew’s in a joint venture to benefit both St Andrew’s and Brighton Grammar School.
As Jan Joustra was a member of the Brighton Grammar School Council, he was aware of our Masterplan and realised the mutual benefits that this site would bring to both BGS and St Andrew’s
For nearly 140 years, Brighton Grammar School has enjoyed a strong and unique relationship with St Andrew’s and this is another example of School and Church working together for their mutual benefit and for the benefit of the Brighton community.
Who will own the new Building?
Brighton Grammar School has been granted a 99 year lease granted by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. The actual building will be owned by the school and will sub lease areas back to St Andrew’s Church.
What involvement will St Andrew’s Church play in the project?
This is a joint project between Brighton Grammar School, St Andrew’s and the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. In addition to the teaching and learning facilities being brought to life for our boys and staff, the project will also provide St Andrew’s with: new reception areas; administrative offices; underground car parking spaces; and three tennis courts situated on the top level. St Andrew’s Church will also have access to meeting rooms and some of the new facilities at BGS.
What happens to the St Andrew’s Tennis Club during the building phase?
During the construction phase, Brighton Grammar School will make some of its tennis courts available for members of the St Andrew’s Tennis Club. Brighton Grammar School, for the past 30 years, has conducted community education programs and the School is used to welcoming other groups to utilise its facilities.
What is ‘Design Thinking’?
Design Thinking is a methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems related to processes or products by adopting 5 specific steps. Design Thinking is extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown by: 1, understanding the human needs involved – empathising; 2, by framing or defining the problem in human- centric ways: 3, by creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions; 4, by adopting a practical hands-on approach in ‘building’ a process or product prototype; and, 5, by carrying out a rigorous testing program. This is not a linear procedure but often will require a re-framing and consequent fine-tuning the prototype until the problem is solved and the process or product fulfils initial expectations. Understanding and utilising these five stages of Design Thinking are basic to underpinning an entrepreneurial approach.
What sectors of the BGS Community will be called upon to support this project?
It is the expectation of our Campaign Committee that all members of our Brighton Grammar School Community will have the opportunity to support this project: present and former parents, grandparents, Old Boys, present and former members of Staff and friends of the School.
Why should past parents and grandparents support this project?
Whilst the sons of current parents will be the initial beneficiaries of our ‘future ready’ programs, parents and grandparents of boys who have passed through the School would acknowledge the goodwill and generosity of earlier generations which made possible the education of their sons and grandsons. By appreciating the past, parents and grandparents may well be inspired to support this project with the expectation that future generations of their families will benefit from the exciting facilities, resources and programs. Some of our parents and grandparents will indeed reap the rewards of their donations through their sons and grandsons. Amongst these parents and grandparents, there is an increasing number of Old Boys are now choosing to send their sons to BGS.
Has consideration been given to naming opportunities?
Yes there will be naming opportunities available to recognise the contribution of members of our School Community to Brighton Grammar School. Also, there will be opportunities to acknowledge the generous philanthropic contributions of individuals including those who may wish to name an area or section of the building in their name or in the memory of a loved one, or as a means of acknowledging the outstanding contribution of a member of Staff.
I would like to contribute to this exciting project but presently I do not have the available funds – is there any other way that I can make a contribution?
Yes, there are various ways that you can make a valuable contribution to this project apart from making a monetary gift at the present time. Bequests, especially directed to the Building Fund, are greatly appreciated and ensure the future direction of the School.
Shares, works of art, insurances, or property can either be left as a gift in your Will or donated to the School now. Another practical way of contributing to this project is to ‘talk it up’ amongst your friends; after all, this is the most ambitious project the School has undertaken and its success will rely on the support of our BGS community.
Why is the School investing in a multi-million dollar building when the School desperately needs an Aquatic Centre and its own sporting grounds?
Aligning with BGS2032 ,our 10 year strategic plan, this is an exceptional opportunity and, as such, is our first priority. Whilst we could do with the above mentioned, we must prioritise, we cannot do everything.
Equipping our boys to be better prepared for the future by providing them with the necessary skills and experiences to successfully meet the challenges of the world Beyond Tomorrow is our chosen priority.
Further, we are committed to being a one campus school and we do not have plans to acquire sporting grounds away from our existing campus. However, developing our existing sporting grounds is indeed a priority.
Why should people give to this campaign?
The facilities and resources our BGS boys enjoy today are built on the generosity and forethought of past generations of BGS families. As in the past, we hope our community will give because they believe in the direction BGS is heading.
What if we don’t raise the necessary funds – will the project go ahead?
Yes, the project will go ahead if we do not reach our fundraising target. The unfortunate outcome of this would be that the pace of future projects already identified in the School’s Master Plan could be delayed. However, feedback from the extensive pre-campaign study strongly suggested that our fund-raising targets are achievable.
Will my gifts for this Capital Campaign be tax deductible?
Yes, all gifts to support the building project will go to the Building Fund and are 100% tax deductible.
Why should I give; my son is in Year 10 and will be gone before the building is completed?
Throughout the history of BGS, boys have enjoyed the facilities and resources provided by those who have come before. The Year 10 boys have experienced: the Urwin Centre, Annandale, the Secondary School Library and Resource Building, the remarkable Junior School and so many other facilities developed over the past 20 years. This project will enrich the education of future generations of BGS boys, some of whom, no doubt, will be the sons and grandsons of our current BGS boys. By our work today, we maximise our tomorrow!
If the project stalls for a period of years, what happens to the funds that have already been donated or bequeathed for this project?
Whilst the School envisages this project to be completed within the next 3 years, there may be factors that delay the School’s proposed construction timeline. However, any funds donated to the Brighton Grammar School Building Fund for this project will continue to be managed by the Brighton Grammar School Foundation to be utilised specifically for this project. The School will keep our donors informed of the planning and construction phases of this exciting new complex.
Can I pledge my gift over a period of years?
Yes, all gifts can be pledged over a one to five year period.
What if I am unable to complete my pledge?
Your pledge is not a legal document and if you are unable to complete your pledge in the allotted time, it would be hoped that you may be able to honour your pledge at a later date. Obviously, the School places its faith in our donors’ best intentions and relies on these intentions to plan for the future but understands circumstances may change
Can I make a bequest as my contribution to this project?
Yes, the School certainly welcomes bequests to our Building Fund and particularly when specifically allocated to this project. Including the BGS Building Fund in your Will is a powerful act of commitment, a most valuable means of securing the School’s future without adversely affecting your present financial situation. Our BGS Bequest Manager, Peter Toms, would be pleased to meet with you to outline the most appropriate way to include this project in your Will. Peter can be contacted at the BGS Development Office 8591 2274; firstname.lastname@example.org
When will the construction commence?
Much has to take place before construction occurs but you can be assured that it is the School’s hope that ‘the sooner the better’ with the first ‘sod to be turned’ at the end of October in 2022.
Once construction commences, how long before the complex will be functioning?
The construction and fit-out phase will take 2 years but like any large scale building, complications can occur. However, BGS has an enviable record of working with construction companies and we look forward to a smooth working relationship with the company that has been appointed to construct the building.
Do you have the right people involved in scoping this project?
Yes. In partnership with St Andrew’s we have appointed specialist educational architects who are regarded as leaders in this facet of educational design. Additionally, we are very fortunate that Martyn Hook, Professor of Architecture at RMIT- and a current parent and Council Member has been heavily involved in the scoping works. This project is the most significant and ambitious building project in the School’s history both from a pedagogical and cost standpoint. It was essential that the right architects were engaged.
With the planned demolition of our current Science, Chemistry, Biology and Physics spaces to make way for the new building, what impact will this have on my son’s VCE studies?
The School is currently finalising plans to ensure that appropriate facilities and resources are available for the teaching of these subjects prior to the demolition of existing teaching areas. Providing our boys with first-class facilities and resources is a School priority and will not be compromised by the construction of our new centre. Once our decanting plans are finalised details will be shared with our parents.
Will BGS be sharing its new building with Firbank?
Brighton Grammar and Firbank have a long history of sharing facilities and programs whenever the need arises. Whilst maintaining their essential commitment to single-sex education, co-operation between the two Schools has escalated over the past couple of years. It is envisaged that for specific purposes when learning spaces are available, Firbank girls will have the opportunity to utilise such spaces within the complex whether working alone or alongside BGS boys.
Will members of the local community be able to utilise the complex?
Yes, it will be expected that both St Andrew’s and Brighton Grammar School will welcome members of the local community to utilise the facilities within the complex when not required by BGS boys. For over 30 years BGS has opened its classrooms, ovals and halls for community use enabling outside organisations to establish a wide variety of programs for both adults and children within the BGS campus.
What is BGS2032?
BGS2032 is the school’s 10 year strategic plan. It will evolve over time and be guided by the latest research and thinking, by real world developments, and ongoing input from the BGS community.
This will inform the strategic initiatives to enable BGS to systematically work towards bringing the BGS2032 vision to life.
To read more visit bgs2032.brightongrammar.vic.edu.au
For more information on how you can invest in our boys’ future by supporting our Beyond Tomorrow campaign and the enormous pride this project will bring to past, present and future BGS boys, please contact John Phillips, Director of Advancement.