The iconic Kodak House on D N Road has been acquired by the Cathedral and John Connon School from Deutsche Bank, ending a hunt of almost eight years for additional space. Sources said it cost the school approximately Rs 74 crore.
The building near the school in south Mumbai will house its international section. Cathedral began offering the International Baccalaureate programme after class VIII from 2015. Their first batch graduates this year.
“The Cathedral and John Connon School is now the proud owner of the Kodak House building which was previously owned by Deutsche Bank. I thank you for putting up with the inconvenience of lack of space, etc.You will, of course, have to continue to bear with this until the building is ready to house the international section of the school,“ principal Meera Isaac wrote in an email to parents on Monday .
Currently , the school has moved its class VIII students to their middle school building to accommodate the international section in the senior school. The school is ex pected to occupy the approximately 36,000 sq ft, ground-plus-three storey premises in the next one and a half years. “We had a space crunch for some time now and had been looking at properties for the past seven to eight years. While finalizing the location, we wanted two things -it should be a full building that we buy and it must be close to our current premises. We are extremely glad that we found the Kodak House,“ Isaac told TOI.
The 150-year school with five sections -pre-primary , infant, junior, middle and senior -has fewer than 2,000 students. Approximately 300 of them are expected to move to the new premises. “We got the property on Friday and work will soon begin on changing the interiors to meet the school’s needs, like classrooms, laboratories and library . The planning has been underway for a while,“ said Isaac. According to heritage rules, at the Kodak House, which is a Grade II A structure, one can undertake only internal changes.
Conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah who worked on the restoration of the building for Deutsche Bank said the “stunning building“ must be restored lovingly . “It is great that the building will now be used by a school; having worked on it previously , I know the school will have to be sensitive while making changes. Hope they are able to restore it lovingly and in fact, enhance its beauty .“
The Deutsche Bank spokesperson declined to comment.