New Home for Caius Boats

Caius plan to demolish their existing boathouse and build a new one, after the building was declared structurally unsound.

Gonville and Caius college have applied for permission to build a new boathouse, declaring their existing one to be ‘beyond repair’.

The Victorian boathouse, designed by W.M Fawcett

The existing boathouse has presided over the river bank since 1879, making it an impressive 132 years old. But according to Pete Walker, Captain of Caius Boat Club, the building has “started to subside on one half” and is no longer up to the job of accommodating the club. The building itself was found to be ‘unsafe’ by a structural surveyor.

The college are in discussions with the council over plans to demolish the historic building to replace it with a brand new model, still in keeping with tradition. Walker said the design will continue the “original red bricks, clay tiles and Caius blue doors.”

Despite the huge cost of the project, Caius students aren’t concerned that it will disadvantage other areas of college life. JCR President Martin Iacaponi said: “The college generously funds the activities of all the sports clubs and societies… none of which suffer from the demands of a large and successful boat club.”

The Boat Club Captain told The Tab that Caius hopes the building work will be funded by donations: “so this project will not detract from educational funding, or from other areas of college life.”

The new boat house will boast more rowing machines, better facilities for female rowers (who weren’t provided for in the Victorian design), and increased racking space.

Caius boaties in action

Caius wants to use it to celebrate their previous boating success over generations with the addition of a clock tower. All in all, says Iacoponi, it will be: “a valued asset to the boat club that can only improve its attractiveness and performance on the river.”

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