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Jersey College for Girls Library Repatriation

Jersey Development Company (JDC) was delighted to be able to work with Jersey College for Girls (JCG) and their Foundation in repatriating their fine oak panelled library from its former home at La Pouquelaye.

From the outset JDC decided the most appropriate manner in which to address the old library was to comprehensively restore the timber shelving, panelling and other associated woodwork and relocate the entire room, without adversely impacting its character, back to the current JCG on Mont Millais. 

The library comprises an oak panelled interior fitted out with recessed bookshelves with a classical pediment over the entrance doors from the corridor with the Jersey coat of arms crest. Two sets of iconic columns are also notable features.

Its relocation back to the existing school has safeguarded this important historic feature for the longer term, and the school context provides a far more appropriate setting because of the direct historical associations with the library.

This solution has also ensured the library continues to be used by pupils for its intended purpose, re-connecting its educational use, rather than potentially being subsumed within privately owned apartments.

During the Summer of 2015, JDC’s specialist contractor Whittinghams, sensitively adapted the timber shelving, panelling and associated features to suit its new location within the first floor of the library at JCG. The 84 linear metres of shelf space created a slight increase on the pre-existing arrangement. 

To provide the appropriate setting for the new library, associated revisions were needed to the school’s existing library space including the introduction of a new wall, ceiling lighting and low-level panel heating systems with discreet introductions of floor boxes and data points to allow for current JCG students requirements.

Decorative cornice mouldings were also fitted as per the original library design and chandeliers added to complete the re-installation of this period feature.

Where possible, local craftsman at Whittinghams employed traditional woodworking techniques in accordance with the original design and made use of original timber materials.

Practical Completion of JCG’s Library reinstallation works was achieved on 21st September 2015. The new Library was formally opened at a celebratory event by Head Teacher Carl Howarth and JCG Foundation Director Leanda Jane Guy on 12th March 2016.

The sales at College Gardens have been encouraging with more than 70% of the development pre-sold. The main construction works are due to commence in June. Occupation of certain completed blocks will start to occur from January 2018 with the entire development due to be completed by the end of 2018.

As part of the development at College Gardens, JDC will be working with JCG on a permanent art installation at the former college property. This will involve history and art students selecting notable alumni who will be represented in a new sculpture near the Greek Theatre.

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