The refurbishment of BSK

The refurbishment of BSK


DSC_9854Last year, Clifton College’s Big School Kitchen (otherwise known as the BSK) undertook the biggest refurbishment since the College was first built in 1862. The work started in the gorgeous weather of last summer and was carried out until the start of the New Year.

The project consisted of three main elements; improvement of the facilities to the Bretton Memorial Hall, refurbishment of the BSK and provision of a temporary kitchen and dining facility on the School House lawn for the duration of the project. The overall project budget was set at £4.06 million.

The BSK is a Grade II listed building, therefore the scope of the works had to be done precisely and in keeping of the building’s original architectural structure and beauty.


A complete refurbishment to the roof was required and was done using new and reclaimed Welsh slates, which were chosen to match the original tiles, including the colour banding and shapes that were used when the College was first built. The project has since been entered into the National Roofing Federation Awards.

Stonework restoration was also needed, including the rebuild of one Bath stone chimney. External re-glazing was carried out, including repairs and reinstatement of the leaded lights, where previously removed for kitchen ductwork.


Extensive works were carried out to convert the building to become fully accessible to all. This included the demolition of the existing lift and structural alterations to house the installation of a larger wheelchair accessible lift, with a ramp added to one of the building’s entrance doors.

A complete internal refurbishment and re-modelling was needed, to include new extended catering facilities, staff, pupil and visitor toilets, decorations and floor finishes. The existing mechanical and electrical services were replaced with highly efficient new boilers and ventilation equipment in order for better control over the ambient temperature of the building. This, and newly installed LED lighting, will also considerably reduce the energy consumption of the BSK too.


Many other works were carried out during the renovation process including the installation of new thermal and sound insulation, and the upgrading of the fire alarm, IT and AV systems. This included screens which show the menu of the day and a live stream of each dining hall. Aesthetically, all tables, chairs, serveries and loose catering items were also replaced, completing the works on the BSK and giving it a fresh, new finish with wow factor.

DSC_4276The College’s Estates Department project managed the scheme with assistance from the wider Operations Departments. A big thank you goes to the architects, Nichols Brown Webber, the main contractors, Kitto Construction, and the quantity surveyors, Ridge, all of which are companies that have a long history of successfully completing projects for Clifton College.

The renovation of the BSK was the most logistically challenging project that the College has carried out for many years, including the segregation of pupils, staff and contractors, and the phased handover of the building to coincide with the school term dates. The project was completed on time, to budget and with no accidents recorded.

The old slate...


The new slate...


BSK before...


BSK after...