Students and teachers are celebrating the completion of a four-classroom standalone block at Bramford CEVC (Church of England Voluntary Controlled) Primary School. Suffolk County Council increased the number of permanent placements from 210 pupils to 315 pupils.
Brooks and Wood Ltd have worked collaboratively with Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd and Suffolk County Council to provide pupils with energy efficient classrooms that increase natural light and ventilation, and overall enhance the existing school accommodation. External works such as landscaping and resurfacing of the school playground were also carried out.
Councillor Mary Evans, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills said “I am delighted to see the completion of this project. The new block contains four classrooms which are energy efficient with excellent natural light and ventilation providing pupils with the optimum learning environment. The new block provides a much needed additional 105 places for children, which supports the increasing population from new housing developments in the area”.
The expansion was driven by actual and anticipated housing developments in the area. The new standalone block will support the increase of population within the school’s catchment area, and will allow for an upsurge in admissions, resulting in a greater number of local pupils receiving their chosen school preference; Bramford CEVC Primary School.
Emma Burgess, Executive Headteacher at Bramford Primary School said “It has been exciting to see our new building develop and we are thrilled to now have these amazing extra facilities at our school to further enhance and improve our learning environment. The first class of children (Year 1 pupils) moved into the building after half term and were very excited about their bright new classroom! One of them commented, ‘I love it here!’ A tremendous amount of work has gone into the construction of our new building and we are proud of the colours in the design which reflect the colours in our ‘ACE’ vision and of our four schoolhouse teams. I would like to thank everyone who worked on the project, especially given the additional challenges faced due to the pandemic. It is a facility which will be enjoyed by our pupils now and for many years to come as our school community grows”.
In addition to the new standalone block, the works included internal remodelling of the existing Early Years building and increased parking facilities. The expansion has guaranteed the continuity of school provision for school places within the village.
The construction value of £1.5m was part funded by a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) contribution from Mid Suffolk District Council. David Garrard, Associate at Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd said “This thoughtfully designed classroom block provides the additional accommodation required to expand the school to 315 places, and it is now well equipped to accept more pupils to cope with the demand from local housing developments. It is testament to the collaboration of the school, the project team at Concertus, and contractor Brooks & Wood, that construction work was able to continue in a safe manner with only minimal delays as a result of COVID-19”.
Stuart Boardley, Director at Brooks and Wood Ltd said “We are delighted to have been able to provide such a fantastic teaching facility for Emma, her staff and all of the pupils at Bramford School. The pandemic that swept through society right in the middle of this project has of course caused many challenges to the team but together we were able to overcome these efficiently and safely. The build has provided the pupils with a bright and innovative learning space that will be of great benefit to young people for many years to come, the team at Brooks and Wood are proud to have played our part in such a successful scheme”.
Cllr James Caston, Mid Suffolk District Council’s ward member for Bramford, said “I am pleased that this exciting expansion project was able to go-ahead following a significant contribution from Mid Suffolk District Council – providing much-needed additional school places, and meeting our commitment to ensuring bright and healthy futures for our communities. This is one of three major school expansion projections approved for CIL funding by our council during the year, demonstrating how these monies continue to make a real difference to the lives of our district’s residents”.
The project, designed by Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd, was handed back over to the children in September to enable them to enjoy their new facilities.