Myreside Pavilion Capital Project

Please pledge your support and help us reach our goal to raise £600,000. Time is against us as we aim to deliver the project within the next six months to allow Myreside Pavilion to be fully operational for the start of the 2021 school and Sporting Calendar

Please pledge your support and help us reach our goal to raise £600,000. Time is against us as we aim to deliver the project within the next six months to allow Myreside Pavilion to be fully operational for the start of the 2021 school and Sporting Calendar


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<strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong><br />

<strong>Capital</strong> <strong>Project</strong><br />

Fundraising Target £600,000

<strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong><br />

a special place in Watson’s History<br />

In 1878, school sport moved to ‘Old <strong>Myreside</strong>’, an area stretching<br />

from Colinton Road to the boundary of Merchiston Gardens.<br />

An ornate brick pavilion was built and the boys raised<br />

£22 10s (£2,600 today) towards fixtures and fittings.<br />

This was a period of significant growth in school and<br />

former pupil sport culminating in the formation of<br />

the Watson’s College Athletic Club. Ten years later,<br />

and after intense negotiations with the Merchant<br />

Company, a new pavilion – <strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong> – costing<br />

£4,325 was officially opened on 1 May 1897.<br />

In the mid-1930s, the pavilion was significantly<br />

extended with the addition of two of the first squash<br />

courts built in Scotland, a development that was<br />

funded by members. Then, in the 1970s, a boom<br />

in the number of people playing squash led to two<br />

additional courts opening in 1980. The Club has<br />

been at the forefront of Scottish squash since its<br />

inauguration and the pavilion has now been home to<br />

the Watsonian Squash Rackets Club for over 80 years.<br />

Well over a century since the pavilion’s foundations<br />

were laid down and over five decades since the<br />

most recent upgrades to the original building were<br />

completed, thanks to a fundraising appeal led by<br />

former Principal Sir Roger Young, a fire on<br />

5 February 2020 has provided every Watsonian with<br />

the opportunity to help write the next chapter in the<br />

history of <strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong>.

Reimagining <strong>Myreside</strong><br />

our vision for the pavilion’s future<br />

The horror of the fire that engulfed <strong>Myreside</strong> was felt by<br />

Watsonians around the world.<br />

Those who found themselves nearby as the fire service<br />

worked to bring the blaze under control watched in<br />

disbelief as flames burst through the roof. Thankfully,<br />

no-one was hurt and the fire – though devastating –<br />

has provided an unexpected opportunity for renewal.<br />

Insurance will cover like-for-like reinstatement but,<br />

with your help, we can be much more ambitious for<br />

both the fabric and the purpose of the building.<br />

Former pupils, current pupils and their parents, staff,<br />

the Watsonian Club and Watsonian Club sections have<br />

all contributed to the development of a new vision for<br />

the future of this much loved landmark.<br />

From the insights and feedback<br />

that we gathered, a key theme<br />

emerged: A vision that would<br />

bring <strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong> to life<br />

every day, making it a lively,<br />

bright, and inviting destination.<br />

As a result of the passion and commitment shown<br />

in the months since the fire, we are embarking on a<br />

£600,000 capital project. We will bring the pavilion back<br />

to life as a hub for the school and local community<br />

during the day, whilst enhancing its historic role as a<br />

home for sport and a social hub for Watsonians and<br />

others in the evenings and at weekends.<br />

With your help, reaching our funding target will<br />

enable much of the pavilion’s past to be recreated<br />

as part of the vision for its future. Mrs Henderson’s<br />

legendary teas will once again be served, with a 21st<br />

century twist. A new focal point will be created: a<br />

place for Watsonians to meet friends, or drop in to<br />

see the Development Office team; a place for parents,<br />

senior pupils and staff to relax and enjoy each other’s<br />

company and a place where we can welcome our<br />

neighbours, community partners and other friends.<br />

And it will once again be a place for Watsonians to<br />

regale each other with tales of matches won, and<br />

sometimes matches lost.<br />

And more than that, for the first time we will be able<br />

to bring together and display the historic archives and<br />

collections that record and celebrate the rich history<br />

of the Watsonian Club and its sections. Artefacts,<br />

photographs and documents will be displayed<br />

throughout the building, a Library and Reading Room<br />

will allow Watsonians, researchers and members of the<br />

public to access these items and all Watsonian sections<br />

and branches will be able to safely store their archival<br />

materials in the new library and storage spaces.

The Vision<br />

creating a visitor centre<br />

To realise our shared vision and complete the pavilion’s<br />

most ambitious programme of improvements since it<br />

was opened in 1897, there are four key projects that we<br />

would like you to consider supporting:<br />

• Creation of a hub for Watsonian Club members,<br />

staff, parents and senior pupils and other<br />

visitors to meet friends, relax and participate<br />

in volunteering and other activities. Funds will<br />

be used to upgrade and improve the event and<br />

meeting spaces; for the installation of a coffee<br />

shop; and to enhance the outside and entrance<br />

spaces, including a new ground-floor, decked<br />

viewing area.<br />

• Creation of exhibition, gallery and library spaces<br />

to house and display the Watsonian Club and<br />

Watsonian sections’ historic archives and<br />

collections.<br />

• Accessibility projects that provide access for all<br />

at ground-floor levels including the installation<br />

of ramps to all main access points to the building<br />

and a lift to the upper-floor.<br />

• Significantly upgrade the squash courts, with a<br />

new entrance and reconfigured layout. Upgrade<br />

the electrics, building access systems and instal<br />

security cameras.<br />

We will be able to realise<br />

these ambitions only if you<br />

can help us to raise £600,000<br />

in philanthropic support.<br />

Please pledge your support<br />

and ensure that <strong>Myreside</strong><br />

<strong>Pavilion</strong> can phoenix from<br />

the ashes of the fateful fire,<br />

as a new Watsonian Centre.

The <strong>Project</strong>s<br />

how you can help<br />

Creating the Watsonian Centre<br />

<strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong> sits on the periphery of the<br />

school’s estate and is primarily used by the school<br />

and Watsonian clubs during sporting events and as<br />

an events space outwith school hours, and at the<br />

weekends. The building has been sitting empty for<br />

most of the day; we now have an opportunity to<br />

reimagine new ways to use the spaces.<br />

Our shared vision for the pavilion is that it becomes a<br />

hub for every member of our community. A space for<br />

former staff and former pupils to drop in to visit the<br />

Development Office and participate in volunteering<br />

projects; a space for parents to relax around pupil<br />

pick-up times; a space for current staff to meet visitors<br />

and each other; a space for senior pupils to gather,<br />

or study; and a space that welcomes our community<br />

partners and neighbours.<br />

Realising the Vision<br />

The aesthetics of the building will be improved, letting<br />

our community and neighbours know that the Visitor<br />

Centre welcomes everyone. There will be general<br />

building improvements to the exterior of the whole<br />

building, including reinstating the rosemary tiles and<br />

repair and maintenance to all external woodwork<br />

and walls. The downstairs function room will be<br />

enhanced, with bifold doors leading directly onto an<br />

outside decked area. The bar and serving areas will<br />

be reconfigured to allow them to switch between<br />

daytime café service and evening bar service, as well<br />

as offering flexible spaces for events, meetings and<br />

other activities.<br />

The Development Office will be relocated to <strong>Myreside</strong>,<br />

giving the building a tangible, daily use for the school,<br />

ensuring that the building is a lively and thriving hub<br />

that is always ready to welcome visitors.<br />

Exhibition, Library<br />

and Archive Storage Spaces<br />

The Watsonian Club and its sections and branches<br />

around the world have a rich history and, over<br />

time, Watsonians and others have gifted artefacts,<br />

manuscripts, books and other items of interest to be<br />

displayed at the pavilion and across the school. We<br />

also know that a wealth of history is stored at the<br />

homes of individual office bearers, and in an eclectic<br />

mix of spaces across the campus.<br />

Realising the Vision<br />

Housing these important collections and archives<br />

at <strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong> will allow the school to make<br />

them available to researchers, Watsonians and their<br />

families, and the general public; as well as having<br />

much of them on permanent display to provide a<br />

unique backdrop for visitors to enjoy.<br />

A reconfiguration of the viewing gallery at the rear of the<br />

squash courts will allow the space to become bespoke<br />

storage for the archives and the existing Hastings<br />

Room will be redeveloped into a library and reading<br />

room, housing books, the photographic collections,<br />

manuscripts and other papers, as well as providing a<br />

space where researchers and others interested in the<br />

history of the Watsonian clubs will be able to meet with<br />

the school’s Historian and Archive Officer.<br />

Redevelopment of the upstairs bar and Hastings<br />

Rooms will include removing the alcove seating<br />

areas and replacing these with full-length windows<br />

and patio doors leading to the outside balcony area.<br />

Reconfiguring the bar and opening up the vaulted<br />

ceiling will enhance the space and provide a fitting<br />

backdrop for bespoke shelving, exhibition and<br />

display cabinets.

Access for All<br />

As part of our programme of improvements, our plans<br />

include new ramp access points at key entrances<br />

around the pavilion, as well as installing a lift to<br />

provide access for wheelchair users and other visitors<br />

with reduced mobility to the upstairs bar and event<br />

space; the reading room and board room; as well as<br />

the outside viewing balcony.<br />

Realising the Vision<br />

With your support we are committed to realising our<br />

vision to make the building fully accessible, allowing<br />

all sports competitors, spectators and other visitors<br />

full access – for the first time – to the upper floor of<br />

<strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong>.<br />

Squash Court Redevelopment<br />

The Squash Club proposal is to redevelop the<br />

facilities by upgrading all four courts, which will<br />

include turning the two original courts through 180<br />

degrees. This reorientation will allow access to all<br />

four courts from one central area. In addition, a small<br />

extension to the western elevation will provide an<br />

expanded lobby and recreational area.<br />

Realising the Vision<br />

These significant upgrades will not only allow the<br />

school to coordinate training sessions for more<br />

children and allow the Club to recruit more members,<br />

the courts will also provide national standard facilities<br />

and allow the school and Club to increase the range<br />

of activities provided to pupils, members, partnership<br />

schools and community groups.<br />

To futureproof the building and mitigate against<br />

faults, there will be a complete rewiring of the<br />

building and replacement of the electrical boxes,<br />

as well as the installation of new IT infrastructure,<br />

which will include replacing the door entry systems<br />

and the addition of security cameras.<br />

How you can help<br />

Please pledge your support and help us reach<br />

our goal to raise £600,000. Time is against us as<br />

we aim to deliver the project within the next six<br />

months to allow <strong>Myreside</strong> <strong>Pavilion</strong> to be fully<br />

operational for the start of the 2021 school and<br />

Sporting Calendar.<br />

Development Office, George Watson’s College,<br />

Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5EG<br />

T: 0131 446 6000 E: development@gwc.org.uk<br />

The George Watson’s Family Foundation Registered Charity SC004818<br />

Administered by the Edinburgh Merchant Company Education Board,<br />

a charity registered in Scotland SC009747

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