Project Xenia – A School Library of Two Shipping Containers
Pupils in the English North Somerset town of Clevedon have got together to fundraise for a new library consisting of two shipping containers.
Clevedon is a sleepy seaside town on the Bristol Channel close to Avonmouth Docks, a medium sized port near the city of Bristol. It has a rich maritime heritage, that the pupils hope to celebrate by building the library in a ‘boathouse’ style.
Public service funding cuts have lead to the need for the pupils of the school to fundraise online for the project, which comes in at just over GBP £12,000.
What is the Xenia Project?
On the Spacehive crowdfunding website, the pupils stated, “We have created plans for this space to take on the appearance of a boathouse clad in wood, to embody the theme of journeys, the sea and stories which are at the heart of our seaside town. We have called the project Xenia, embodying the Greek Classical code of hospitality and stories.”
This is most appropriate for a seaside town where travel and stories come together as people holiday there.
Speaking to a local newspaper the student group said: “With cuts to our library services, it is more important now than ever to provide our school and community with access to books and reflective spaces to read and get lost in a world of literature and ideas.
“The plan is to use this space as a meeting place both during the day for students to improve their literacy and develop our love of literature at the school, and in the evening for community groups.”
English co-ordinator, Jo Carrington told the newspaper, “The students would be able to have a library and a place for stories but not just any library, one which they have worked and campaigned for.”
She continued, “It would also be a community space so it could be used as a pop up quirky place for business meetings. We run book groups and creative writing and it would be a place for us to meet – both extra curricular clubs and groups from the community.”
The project has had celebrity backing too. UK national celebrity television presenter, actor and comedian Sir Tony Robinson said to another local news outlet, “A shipping container library in Clevedon, particularly given its seaside heritage, should seize people’s imagination. He concluded, “It will certainly be unusual, practical and let’s be honest, rather bizarre.”
Shipping container libraries
Browsing the Gateway Gazette you will see the huge range of things that shipping containers can be converted into. A community centre and local learning resource is a great idea, and if the money can be raised (with just two months left, there is more than £10,000 that needs to be raised) then it would be a job well done for the students, and a legacy they as individuals can lay claim to long after they have graduated. While it is a dreadful shame that the local council will not even pay for a school or community library, the resourcefulness of those students could yet turn the ship around and benefit generations of students to come.
If you need space for your own community project, then get in touch with us at Gateway Container Sales today. You can speak to our friendly sales team who can put you in touch with a range of designers and experts who can help you design and convert the space you need for your own project. Call us today to discuss your needs or get a free quote!