Students have settled into their million-pound school expansion

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Edgar Sewter Primary School in Halesworth, received a £1.35 million expansion and remodelling works to the existing school which completed in Autumn 2022. Now that the children have had time to settle into their new teaching block, we reflect on the works that took place over the past 24 months.

Suffolk County Council, working with East Suffolk Council and Concertus Design and Property Consultants, received planning permission in June 2021 which enabled the main contractor SEH French to start on site just 6 months later, in December 2021.

The new single-storey building is home to a new library, meeting room and two new classrooms. Katherine Milk, Executive Headteacher of Edgar Sewter Primary School, part of ASSET Education, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new building and it’s lovely to see the children enjoying the new spaces, especially our fantastic new library”.

The scheme also included extensive internal remodelling to the existing school, providing additional classrooms, a staff room, and external canopies. This has allowed the children to have better access to the new building as well as utilise the existing space within the school. The children have also benefited from a brand-new hard play area, new footpaths, and landscaping of the school grounds.

Liz Harris, Principal Architectural Designer at Concertus Design and Property Consultants said: “Our design was focused on representing the schools’ surroundings within the colour choices and fabric of the building. The new expansion introduced energy-efficient classrooms with excellent levels of natural light and ventilation. The extra space available to the children will not only allow them to thrive but has provided excellent learning facilities for an additional 105 children to assist with their education. We are pleased to have worked with Suffolk County Council and SEH French to deliver this project.”

Neil Pryke, Contracts Manager at SEH French, said:“It was a pleasure to be a part of this project alongside Concertus, helping create new school places for children. The new facilities, and improvements to the existing building, will have undoubtedly helped enhance the environment for children to receive their education. I’d like to thank the headteacher, Katherine Milk, and the rest of the school staff for being so accommodating to our team, as well all of our supply chain and in particular Brook Electrical and Cooper & Brome Ltd for their support. It was a real team effort by all.” 

The works at Edgar Sewter Primary School were funded by East Suffolk Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a charge that local authorities can access to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area.

Philip Ridley, Head of Planning and Coastal Management at East Suffolk Council said: “Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding is collected from housing developments and used to support improvements to local facilities for the benefit of the community. In 2021, East Suffolk Council allocated £6.3m in CIL funding to seven major projects across East Suffolk and four of these projects were required to support growth in Halesworth. Many of these projects were educational settings where improvements are needed to support new developments in the area, and I am delighted to see the work at Edgar Sewter Primary School officially completed.”