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Spalding Priory School's £7.2 million extension on course for 2022 completion

A £7.2 million project to extend Spalding's Priory School is on course to be completed by the start of the next academic year.

Willmott Dixon has secured the contract to carry out the work at the Neville Avenue school, which will see it merge with The Garth School to cater for pupils with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

The project has a completion date of September 1 2022 in a bid to avoid disruption to pupils.

An artist's impression of the new-look Priory School.
An artist's impression of the new-look Priory School.

The Priory currently caters for secondary school age pupils aged 11-19, but the aim is for it to be a 'through school' - looking after those aged four to 19.

This extension will cater for 58 primary school students and 69 secondary school students, with an overall capacity of 127 students.

This investment forms part of Lincolnshire County Council's £86 million SEND school investment programme.

Willmott Dixon will deliver a new site layout including nine new classrooms, in addition to a new social recreation space, life skills room, increased WC provision of suitable need, a meeting space and ancillary staff facilities.

The project will also feature a minor refurbishment of the existing school building to provide a new plant room and adjacent staff spaces.

Nick Heath, director of delivery at Willmott Dixon, said: “We’re pleased to have broken ground on our fourth SEND school project for Lincolnshire County Council.

"The scheme is very important in meeting the needs of all young children in the area and they can be certain that we are committed to delivering a design that facilitates the best education for every pupil.

“We have a proud history in the education sector and consistently bring new ideas to the table during the consultation process.

"We always aim to leave a lasting legacy and maximise the value possessed by our skilled workforce.

"This project has been designed to support the local community from all angles, so students, staff, parents, local residents, and all other stakeholders receive maximum consideration in relation to their individual needs.”

Willmott Dixon said the project will bring 'social value' to the local area - helping to support local people into employment.

Nick continued: “As with all our projects, sustainability for people and the environment is a major focus. Our ‘Now or Never’ strategy guides everything we are doing to ensure a greener future and outlines how by 2030 all our new buildings will achieve net-zero operational carbon. At The Priory we are installing electric vehicle charging stations for onsite teams to travel sustainably.”

Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The council wants to ensure that all children can access high-quality education, as near to their family and local community as possible. To help achieve that, we're investing £86m in improving our special schools over the next few years.

"Our ambitious programme will mean more pupils with SEND can attend a local school rather than having to travel large distances for their education, which will be of great benefit to both the children and their families.

"Despite the pandemic, we're making excellent progress. Following completed improvements at schools in Boston, Spalding and Grantham, works are currently underway in Louth, Spilsby and Bourne. I'm delighted that we're now in a position to start the improvements at The Priory School as well."

Mark Robinson, group chief executive at procurement authority SCAPE said: “Willmott Dixon and Lincolnshire County Council have made a firm commitment to ensuring the facilities they can provide for SEND education are second to none. This is a welcome step to ensure the education system in the county is fully inclusive and provides the highest standard of amenities to create a fantastic learning experience for those pupils with additional needs. SCAPE is proud to have accelerated this extension to Spalding - a project that has social value at its heart and that will leave a lasting positive legacy.”

The three other projects recently completed include Eresby School in Spilsby, Willoughby School in Bourne and St Bernards school in Louth.

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