The new £5.3m Heathfield Primary School has been officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham.
The first pupils started using the new School in October, but a ribbon cutting ceremony saw partners come together to celebrate the official opening.
This is all part of the City Council’s ambitious expansion plan, which saw the school in Basford split into two sites, creating an additional 420 places, plus 52 nursery places. The school has already been admitting extra children for the last two academic years ahead of the expansion and now the site is fully open.
Work began at the site at Kersall Drive – where Henry Mellish School once stood – at the end of last year and now includes flexible teaching spaces and a new hall. Reception, Year 1 and year 2 children are the first to use the new space, whilst at the other site in Scotland Road pupils from age 3 to 11 continue to be taught.
As part of the Council’s expansion plan, since 2009 an extra 2,085 places have been created. The council has invested more than £33 million in its school expansion programme, to make schools bigger and better.
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Schools at Nottingham City Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Heathfield Primary School and we’re really pleased to be part of it.
“We’ve been working across the city to make sure there are enough quality primary school places for every child. The Council’s expansion strategy will ensure that every child and young person has access to the very best facilities in order to help them to succeed and reach their full potential.
“The speed of housing development and growth in the number of children living in Nottingham means we must be able to move quickly on our priorities. We must ensure that all children have the opportunity to access high quality teaching and learning. Residents in Nottingham want good schools, with places available, close to home. This is an exciting major investment into schools in Nottingham and will help to benefit thousands of children.”
Headteacher at Heathfield, Gary Fullwood, said: “We’ve been in the new building now for a half a term and it’s delivering outstanding facilities for our children. Investment in our schools is crucial and Heathfield Primary has all of the resources to enable even more pupils to realise their potential and access new and exciting opportunities.”
Work has been ongoing to increase capacity at schools across the City, with some of the work already finished. The vast majority have already admitted extra children so their numbers have expanded ahead of the building work.
Further areas of the City will benefit from the school expansion programme. In 2016, new places for children will be created at schools in Bilborough, Sneinton, Radford, Aspley and Clifton.
Heathfield has been designed by Nottingham-based architects, CPMG and this ribbon cutting marks the formal ending of building works and the key hand over from main contractor, Wates Construction.
Richard Scarrott, Business Unit Director at Wates Construction, Midlands, commented: “We’ve spent the last year breathing new life into Heathfield Primary School and have created a new building that provides increased places for pupils, whilst improving and enhancing the learning experience for children.
“This fantastic result is in no small part thanks to the relationship we have nurtured with Nottingham City Council and Heathfield Primary School. As specialists in education, we have applied our expertise to deliver a first class school and look forward to celebrating this accomplishment at the official opening ceremony later this month.”
Wates was appointed as main contractor through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework agreement, which is managed by Scape. The framework was established in 2008 by local authorities to improve the cost-efficiency of property services for local communities.
Head of empa, Alan Coole, added: “Improving facilities for communities is at the heart of what we do at empa. Our procurement framework allows organisations like Nottingham City Council to secure much-needed construction work from approved contractors in a timely manner, helping to save local authorities and the taxpayer money. Our construction projects have a real and lasting impact on local people and Heathfield School is no exception, we are delighted with the work that Wates has delivered.”
Nick Gregory, director for CPMG Architects said: “Building and improving schools isn’t just a specialism of ours, it’s something we feel very strongly about. It’s great to have been a part of the team delivering the new Heathfield Primary School – the new facility provides a wonderful environment for the pupils and staff, and will play a major part in the wider plan to increase school places across Nottingham. Our design makes efficient use of the space to maximise the site’s potential while minimising any environmental impact and creating a community feel.”