Friday, February 10, 2006

What a dad!

We had a client in our office recently, who wanted a survey done on an old nursery school he was going to buy. People with deep pockets sometimes buy old buildings to do up and re-sell as fantastic homes - I guess some of them are property developers, but quite a few of them are private individuals who have the time, inclination and, most important, the money to get themselves a beautiful, characterful home. So there are lots of buildings that have been converted from their former avatars as whatever - railway station, school, farmhouse, barn, etc - into lovely residences. The major clue to their past is usually that they retain the description as the house name... The Old Railway Station, Old Church House, Teacher's Cottage, etc.

So when I heard that this nursery school - with some 20 rooms - was being purchased, I couldnt help wondering why, if only because it would have taken a really huge amount of money and many years' worth of permissions and planning applications to convert it into a mansion. Especially as the gentleman buying it had already bought himself a huge country house just a few months back, which also we had surveyed.

But it turned out that he didnt want to convert it to anything. He had a young son who attended that nursery school. The school building was on auction-sale because it wasnt viable and the nursery itself was going to be closed down. This was something our client did not want - because the school was conveniently close for him to drop his son off every morning, because he thought the teachers were doing a great job and, not the least, because the little lad liked his teacher very much.

So he decided to buy the school building and put in enough funds to keep the school running and its staff in jobs. THAT'S what I call a dedicated dad! I mean, how many men do you know who would buy an entire school for their son? (Or who would have the means to do it?)

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