Undershaw - A vision
Fortunately for Undershaw, the DFN Foundation purchased the building in 2014 with the vision of restoring it and turning the building into an educational facility to enable the expansion of Stepping Stones School, a local special needs school.
In order to fulfil this vision, the building needed to be extended. The architects decided to construct the extension in a modern style with a glass link between it and the original building. This restored the building’s original form which had been removed by the addition of the 1930s extension.
To maintain continuity, the modern extension picks up features of the original such as the fin roofs which mimic the dormers and the tile lines and banding of materials which continue through the extension. This was something the Conservation Officers were very keen to achieve. The modern building also allows facilities such as lifts and toilets to be located outside of the original house so as not to cause any unnecessary damage or alterations to the listed building.
Today Undershaw provides the latest facilities for a special needs school including science laboratory, music room, library, art studio, fully integrated IT and WiFi throughout the building, main hall with accessible stage and a hydrotherapy pool.
The building and its amenities are available for hire and events will be run to celebrate the history and legacy of Undershaw.
The building was opened officially on the 9th September 2016, twelve years to the day from the opening of Stepping Stones as a school. The event was attended by Richard Doyle, the great-nephew of ACD who helped unveil the Blue Plaque in honour of his great-uncle.