Schools built in the 1980s by Hampshire County Council have been ranked by the Government as among the best historical buildings in the country.
Bosmere Junior School in Havant, Springwood Junior School in Waterlooville and Fleet Infant School have all been awarded Grade II listing by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
The ranking means the school buildings are of the same architectural and historical significance to the nation as other Hampshire landmarks such as the Hurst Point Lighthouse in the New Forest, and the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.
The County Council’s Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar, said: “It may surprise some that schools built as recently as the 1980s are of such historical importance, but it highlights the talent and innovation of our County Council architects at the time, to provide the very best learning environments for our children - a fine tradition that continues today.
“We are very proud of this recognition. My congratulations go to all those originally involved in planning, designing and building the schools as well as to all the staff and pupils at Bosmere, Fleet and Springwood on receiving this special status. There is no doubt that some of the Hampshire schools that we are building today could also be judged as historically important, in 30 years time.”
The schools submitted requests to Historic England to become Grade II listed. These were then put forward as recommendations to, and approved, by the Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The schools were recommended for Grade II status, for reasons including:
Springwood Junior School, Waterlooville (built in 1981-1982)
- One in a series of Hampshire ‘barn'-like schools, using a simple concept and large roof form to stylish effect;
- A free-flowing sequence of communal spaces at its centre, with a complex roof profile, and glazing which brings in natural light;
- A striking and formally dramatic interior.
Bosmere Junior School, Havant (built in 1982-83)
- The use of traditional materials and roof forms;
- A sophisticated layout with spaces for a variety of different types of learning and levels of interaction, with each classroom having direct access onto the leafy, secluded, site;
- A rich interior with a warm, earthy, palette of brick, tile and timber in a bright red steel framework, and a space punctuated by changing levels and frosted orbs of internal ‘street-lights’.
Fleet Infant School (built in 1985-86)
- A predominantly glazed, light-weight steel frame, cost effective and efficient to construct, and Teflon-coated PVC canopies to provide shade;
- A light, airy space, maximising the woodland setting, with south-facing classrooms off a central corridor, as well as flexible communal areas and office space;
- A crisp and enjoyable environment for learning, retaining its original form, colour scheme, fixtures and fittings.
The schools’ new listings form part of Historic England’s work, since 2012, to assess the best examples of post-war schools from around the country, to permanently mark a building’s architectural and historic significance so that specific protection can be considered in managing its future.