Generous donation provides new accommodation for Lower and Upper School students
On the morning of Friday 12 February, The Royal Ballet School’s Director, Gailene Stock AM, extended a warm welcome to Mrs Aud Jebsen whose far-sighted generosity has made possible two separate student accommodation projects: one at White Lodge and the other close to the Upper School in Covent Garden. In recognition of Mrs Jebsen’s generosity, each of these is named Jebsen House.
Mrs Jebsen first met year ten students and staff at White Lodge before officially opening the first Jebsen House of the day. Jebsen House is one of three new accommodation blocks which have been sensitively designed by BH and M Architects as part of the recent White Lodge Redevelopment Project and which happily replace the overcrowded, multi-occupancy dormitories of the past. It is home to 26 White Lodge students from year ten (aged 14/15) who proudly showed Mrs Jebsen their rooms which each student shares with one other and which benefit from adjacent bathroom facilities.
After lunch, our distinguished visitor watched some of the younger students in class before travelling to London’s Covent Garden to cut the ribbon and declare officially open the second Jebsen House. A property leased by the Mercers’ Company, this recently renovated block of flats is a stone’s throw from the Covent Garden location of the Upper School. It has eight student flats occupied by 35 students from the second year (aged 17-18).
As a token of their appreciation for their new home, students presented Mrs Jebsen with flowers and a pair of pointe shoes signed by each current resident of Jebsen House. This was followed by a tea party attended by students, staff and Governors of both The Royal Ballet School and The Royal Ballet.
Royal Ballet School Director Gailene Stock AM (left centre) with Mrs Aud Jebsen and students of The Royal Ballet School at the ‘opening’ of Jebsen House. Photograph:Brian Slater