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Hazlemere enters the Dragons' Den with academy renovation

Desborough College, Peter Jones CBE's former school, has been equipped with new windows to keep pupils warm

Posted by Lucinda Reid | January 08, 2017 | Facilities & buildings

Architectural glazing specialists Hazlemere are respected throughout the industry for their wide-ranging commercial experience - but it’s educational projects that the long-established firm arguably excels at the most.

Hazlemere recently had a chance to demonstrate that industry-leading expertise, with the refurbishment of the historic Desborough College building in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

The firm installed approximately eighty windows in the nineteenth century property, replacing existing sashes with high quality aluminum alternatives from Sapa.

Founded as Maidenhead Grammar School in 1894, the institution became a comprehensive under educational reforms passed in the 1970s, which saw it rechristened as Desborough College to honour athlete, politician and ex-pupil Lord Desborough.

Today, it’s more commonly associated with another former student – multimillionaire businessman-turned-TV personality Peter Jones CBE, best known as one of the investors on BBC business show Dragons’ Den. Jones cites his experiences at the school as one of the key reasons he eventually went into business, and returned in 2008 to give a talk to current pupils.

Hazlemere Sales Director Tony Beale commented: “After years of completing jobs for school, colleges and universities, we’ve learnt that planning is crucial when it comes to working at educational institutions.”

“Desborough is a thriving boy’s academy with over 700 pupils – and for part of the eleven week period we were working at the site, lessons were still going on,” said Tony. “ That meant we had to rigorously plan our work schedule to minimise disruption, and, more importantly, keep pupils as young as 11 safe while our installers carried out heavy-duty work. That can be challenging - but, then again, challenging projects are our bread and butter. The staff and pupils at Desborough were a dream to work with, and we were delighted to provide them with windows and door that will make the building a warmer, more thermally efficient, more secure place to be for years to come.”

For more information visit Hazlemere’s website. 

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