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Prep Hall

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Prep Hall
Cotton Hall from Quadrangle side, St. Paul's School, Darjeeling.JPG
Prep Hall and classrooms on ground floor of Cotton Hall building
Type Auditorium
Proximal To Quadrangle, Top Field
Founded In 1898
Founder Richard Carter
Wing Senior Wing
Status Functional
Purpose Recreation

Prep Hall is the school auditorium on the ground floor of the Cotton Hall building. Although initially serving its eponymous purpose as a Senior Wing hall for academic prep work, it's now used as the school auditorium and is a gathering point for a variety of purposes alongside school Chapel.

Cotton Hall Building[edit]

For details on the rest of the building, visit Cotton Hall

Cotton and Milman buildings were conceived and completed, coinciding with the end of Mr. Carter’s tenure in 1898. Earlier, the site where these buildings now stand was a large mound, called "Green Hill", a favorite place for watching cricket matches on the Top Field.

Attached Projector Room[edit]

There's a room below the staircase leading up to the Cotton Hall Master's flat on the first floor. The room still houses the projector used for showcase of movies in the early days. From inside the prep hall, one can easily perceive the now closed openings from which projector light was shone onto the screen for the audience. At least till around 1968 -1971, both School Captain Boards used to hang on the right back wall next to projector opening in the wall now they are in the Dining Hall, flanking the Top or High Table.[1]

History[edit]

  • Till the time of Mr Goddard, upto 1964, the Projector Room for screening Saturday night movies was behind the stage with Green Rooms on either side.
  • For Movie screenings, the Stage curtains had obviously to be kept open. The screen was on the back wall of Prep Hall the Teaching staff sat on either side of the stage and watched the movie which was projected through their middle.
  • Arrangement was changed in 1965 by Mr Gibbs for which new Projection Room was created under Cotton Hall Staircase (towards Milman Hall) and through an opening in the back wall of Prep Hall it was projected to the screen towards the Stage.
  • Primary reason for the change was that earlier, either the stage could be used or Projection done but not both.
  • As a result of this change and creation of new projector Room, the area of the Stage also expanded to include what was the earlier Projection and Green Room areas.
  • To accommodate the Projection Room in the Cotton Hall Stairwell, the original Staircase on that side had to be modified. It was brought forward to create more room and its height was raised by 2 feet to accommodate the Projector Room. As a result, the landing on these stairs are in two levels when compared to the staircase of the other Side (Bathroom Block).[2]
  • There was a small room where the projection room is now, before 1965. Thereafter, when the projection room was created, it was done in front of the existing room.[3] Since the Projection Room then came in front of this existing room, on the Top Field where there was earlier only a window, a door was also created to give access to that room.[4]

Events[edit]

The Prep Hall is/has been used as a venue for all school concerts, musical performances, Saturday night movies (for Junior and Senior Wing), Workshops, elocutions etc.

References[edit]

  1. Pic with Details on Sumant Dalmiya's Facebook album
  2. Pic with Details on Sumant Dalmiya's Facebook Page
  3. Pic of Projector room door on Sumant Dalmiya's Facebook album
  4. Pic of door created, on Sumant Dlamiya's Facebook album
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