St Peter’s School Boat Club is one of the oldest School Boat Clubs in the world. Founded in 1851, taking advantage of the School’s move to a site on the banks of the River Ouse, it has thrived ever since.
Rowing has generated one of the highest tallies of internationalists for any sport at St Peter’s and our success at regional and national level puts us amongst the greatest rowing schools in the country. Originally built in 1956 to cater for just thirty rowers, our Boathouse is now far too small to cater for the 200 pupils who take to the water each year.
Regular floods have also taken their toll on the structure of the Boathouse. It has reached the end of its useful life, and must be replaced in order to ensure our pupils and staff have the facilities that they need and deserve.
Most importantly of all, we plan to widen the steps into the river, enabling much quicker launch and retrieval and increasing time spent on the river itself. Our cricketers will benefit from a store, and all our sportsmen and women will benefit from our increased capacity for indoor training and the planned provision of a dozen rowing machines.
The Boathouse is part of a planned ten-year programme of investment in our campus and facilities. The funds that we raise will not only aid the creation of a new Boathouse, but will help to bring the subsequent stages of our plan within reach. Your support will help us to revitalise our campus.
The boathouse project will consist of three distinct elements: the replacement of the lower boathouse, the extension of the former shooting range (currently used for boat storage) and the extension and repair of the steps leading into the river.
The Upper Boathouse
Less than fifty metres from the Lower Boathouse, but situated on the flood bank and well above the flood area, the Upper Boathouse will contain an extensive suite of facilities that have benefits for rowing, rugby and cricket. Toilet facilities for staff, pupils and visitors, and a small catering area, will enable a much-enhanced experience for staff, pupils, parents, visiting teams and spectators alike. The building includes a cricket store, and an indoor training area for rowers with capacity for a dozen rowing machines – a significant increase in the School’s overall capacity, and useful to pupils as a training tool regardless of their sport. Built alongside the former shooting range, the Upper Boathouse will provide space for vital boat-maintenance and repair, enabling us to extend the life of our fleet and keep our boats in the best possible condition.
The Lower Boathouse
Sitting a short distance from the perimeter, the Lower Boathouse is a robust, practical structure. Designed to be floodable, and to provide easy access for the safe removal of boats and equipment at times of rising water levels, it provides accessible storage for boats and launches, together with basic toilet facilities. At 496 square metres, it will provide much-needed space. Access to the river is via a gradually sloping platform on the School’s own land, enabling pupils to manoeuvre boats safely before they cross the public footpath to the launch steps.
The launch steps
The existing launch area comprises concrete steps, and wider timber steps at the edge of the water. As part of the development, the concrete steps will be extended in length to match the full width of the timber, enabling much quicker launch and retrieval and increasing time spent on the river itself. The timber steps will be made good.
The Boathouse will sit neatly between the existing pitches, and make good use of the space available to us.