MAJOR £30 MILLION SCHOOL REBUILD GETS UNDERWAY IN SOUTHAMPTON
— NEW BITTERNE PARK SCHOOL WILL BE BUILT THROUGH GOVERNMENT’S FLAGSHIP £4.4 BILLION REBUILDING PROGRAMME
— STATE-OF-THE-ART BUILDING WILL OFFER SIGNIFICANTLY MORE LOCAL SCHOOL PLACES
— GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO CREATING HIGH QUALITY SCHOOLS FOR ALL
Pupils and staff at a Southampton secondary school have celebrated the start of work on a multi-million pound new building being delivered through the Government’s flagship rebuilding programme.
Bitterne Park School in Southampton is one of four schools across Hampshire and Dorset to be rebuilt through the £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), which is transforming some of the most run-down schools in the country.
As a result of £30 million investment, Bitterne Park School will benefit from a state-of-the-art new three-storey building which will create 60 new places per year group.
Schools Minister Lord Nash said:
“Our investment in school buildings across the country is transforming the learning environment for tens of thousands of pupils and their teachers. “The start of construction at Bitterne Park School is a key milestone for the Priority School Building Programme in Hampshire and Dorset. “Ensuring all children have access to the best possible schools and facilities is just one part of our commitment to help all young people reach their potential regardless of their background. These buildings will provide modern, fit-for-purpose schools for pupils for many years to come.”
A spokesperson for Bitterne Park School said:
“The demand for places at Bitterne Park is phenomenal. The new school expansion will increase local provision by 60 places in each year allowing the school a managed journey to 1800 in the main school and 180 places in the sixth form.
“The headteacher, Susan Trigger, is incredibly proud to have led the school throughout the expansion process as this confirms that the school community not only aspire to excellence but have a proven record of delivery. The new school will allow the community to grow and thrive in a marvellous educational environment. We will watch our new school emerge with increasing excitement and be more than ready to move in during 2017.”
Kier Director Trevor White commented:
“It’s an exciting milestone to be starting work on Bitterne Park School today, the first of six vital school projects Kier is building in the south of England through the EFA’s Priority Schools Building Programme. We have a proven track record in the education sector, delivering over 200,000 square metres of accommodation each year, which provides an average of 25,000 school places.
“As a company with a strong local footing in the area, we are keen to create valuable employment and training opportunities in our local supply chain throughout the build. We will be looking to support six apprenticeships during the construction programme and offer more than 15 work experience placements for local adults.”
Work on the main building of the school is due for completion by October 2017, with the demolition and landscaping due for completion in April 2018.
Thanks to the PSBP, school buildings are being rebuilt faster and cheaper than those built under the previous school building initiative – Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Under the BSF it took three years for construction work to begin. This was slashed to one year for the PSBP, with projects costing around a third less.
A total of 537 schools will benefit from construction through the two phases of the PSBP.