A NEW HOPE FOR ST JOHN’S COLLEGE
Built in what is largely considered the ‘Gothic Revival’ style, St John’s College was constructed around 1870 and was one of many Churches and Institutions around the period by well-known architect George Goldie. The building functioned in its original capacity as a Diocesan College until a decline in vocations saw it fall into partial disuse- finally closing in 1999.
The building lay largely empty until 2007 when it was sold along with surrounding land, to Respond Housing Association. The building although still largely intact after nearly a decade, had started to suffer the effects of neglect, with lack of heating and water ingress causing damage to the upper floor. The work required to bring the building up to standard as apartments for older residents was in the region of €12 million.
INVESTING IN HERITAGE
Respond Housing Association recognised the importance of retaining (and reusing) St John’s College. And although additional new housing was to be provided in the surrounding grounds it was important that such an important building became part of their vision. Not only was the building to provide a stunning home for mature residents, it was also to be a vital community resource and hub for local organisations.
Now complete the refurbishment of the College Building is a testament to what can be done with heritage buildings and shows the current enthusiasm within Waterford to drive the progressive development of the city and at the same time reviving their built heritage and environment.
RESTORATION WORKS 2014-2016
Both the interior and exterior of the building have been sensitively restored, including a complete re-roof using a mix of 500×300 and 600×300 Bangor Blue Celtic Slates supplied by LBS. The project was overseen by architect Richard Vaughan (Respond), David Kelly Engineers and the main contractor on the project was Mythen Construction. The majority of the work was completed at the end of 2015 and the apartments opened in summer 2016.