Developments in the past several years include: a new Music Schools complex and refurbishment of the old; two dramatic extensions of the Drawing Schools; a state-of-the-art laundry; a sanatorium created by a conversion of the town church which also provided staff flats and a general practice surgery for the town, and preserved a smaller place of worship; extension of the Classics schoolrooms; a new schoolroom block for History; a cricket pavilion; a hockey pavilion, a CCF centre; two all-weather pitches; a canteen for Buildings Department staff; an extension of the Masters’ Common Room; new computer teaching schoolrooms; a rebuild of the Natural History Museum; the total renovation of New Schools for mathematics and geography, with a purpose-built extension for the information technology department; a new organ for Lower Chapel; adaptation of part of the Science Schools to provide a new biology teaching laboratory; modernisation of the serveries in Bekynton (the catering facility); a car park; beagles kennels and staff cottages to replace those demolished by the Environment Agency for the local flood-relief scheme; and refurbishment of the Almshouses. A number of architectural awards have been received.
A high-capacity computer network has been installed. It reaches all departments and masters’ houses, and provides a connection in every boy’s room. A very large programme of keeping boys’ houses up-to-date and improving staff accommodation has been completed, so (like the Forth Rail Bridge) it is back to the beginning again. Similarly with schoolrooms.
The largest recent development has been the Eton College Rowing Centre at Dorney, consisting of a 2,000 metre rowing lake, a boathouse, an arboretum and a nature reserve; the lake was used for the World Rowing Championships in 2006 and will be the 2012 Olympics venue for rowing, flat water canoeing and Paralympics.
Since the completion of the rowing lake in 2006 there has been a pause in major projects and a concentration on upkeep and a number of improvements. A first phase of renovating College Chapel has been completed (2006) and a second begun (2008/9), involving cleaning and repairing the external stonework and repairs to the stained-glass windows. Major improvements of Jourdelay’s and Hawtrey House were undertaken between 2004 and 2007.
A far-reaching medium term development plan has been drawn up for the future. The main elements are: a new modern languages block which will form part of an international centre encompassing ancient and modern languages and culture, economics, politics and religious studies; a new indoor/outdoor swimming pool; and an indoor sports centre.