Work begins on revamp of 1960s York school

  • 3rd July 2024

An artist’s impression of the new school

Children and staff at Hempland Primary School in York have celebrated the start of construction on a new building with a ground-breaking ceremony.

Plans to construct the new two-storey building for the school in Whitby Avenue were unanimously approved by City of York Council’s planning committee last November and works to ready the site for construction have been taking place since the new year.

Headteacher, Abbie Innes, said: “Everyone is really excited for the work on our new school to officially start.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the new building take shape in the weeks and months ahead and the many opportunities it will provide for our pupils and staff moving forward.”

Hempland successfully achieved a place on the government’s School Rebuilding Programme which carries out major rebuilding and refurbishment projects in schools and colleges across England.

The school’s current building has reached the end of its functional life and it will be completely rebuilt under the Department for Education-led programme.

A ground-breaking ceremony marked the start of construction work on the site

The school is part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust and both the school and the trust have been working closely with the Department for Education and contractor, ISG Construction, on the plans for the new building.

The new school is designed to be net zero carbon in operation and will be built to the latest construction standards.

It will provide modern, state-of-the-art facilities to help support an enriching education and will include a main hall, kitchen, library, staff room, and reception area along with classrooms, cloakrooms, toilets, and offices.

ISG Project Manager, Mark Gibson, said: “The positive start is testament to the school’s pragmatic and collaborative partnership in enabling the construction sequence.

“With enabling and key drainage works now complete, we can move forward on programme to the main building construction.”

The new building is being constructed behind the current school, avoiding the need for any temporary accommodation during construction.

And, once the new school has opened, the old building will be demolished to make way for an early years play area and landscaping.

Work on the project is due to be completed by autumn 2025.

The building has been designed by Watson Batty Architects.

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