Massive £14m school refurbishment project under way in Derby

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

Work has begun on a brand new £14m school refurbishment which will create places for 700 more pupils at The Bemrose School, in Uttoxeter New Road.

The multi-million-pound project, which includes top-of-the-range technology, is expected to be completed in 2020 in time to mark the school's 90th birthday.

Students donned their hard hats and their high-vis jackets to celebrate the start of the three-year development that will take pupil numbers to 1,600.

Head teacher Neil Wilkinson said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Bemrose School and the new building and refurbishment project will future-proof the school for many decades to come.

“This is an historic school and we are very much aware of the need to be sympathetic to the original building, while bringing it in line with modern teaching methods.

“The current school building has been in need of modernisation for a long time and while we have made improvements regularly over the years, this complete refurbishment has been needed for some time and will make the entire school fit for purpose.”

Pupils on site with their hard hats on

Pupils on site with their hard hats on

The new building will be made with bricks matching the original school and have a flat roof so the school’s historic green-domed turrets and clock tower will not be obscured.

It will including interactive whiteboards, electronically controlled lighting and ventilation in all of the classrooms as well as C02 monitoring to ensure pupils stay focussed.

There will be three specialist science labs, one each for biology, physics and chemistry, as well as six computer suites.

The school’s corridors will be sound-proofed to minimise disruption and its flooring will lifted, refurbished and reinstalled.

The heating system is being replaced and the interior windows to the corridors will be swapped for modern glass panes.

Lockers will be installed for every pupil and the school wifi will be brought up to speed.

Mr Wilkinson added: “We have worked hard to ensure the original heritage of the building is preserved and that the turrets will still be visible as a landmark of Derby.

How the school could look in 2020

How the school could look in 2020

“Our primary school is just a few years old and the environment lends itself to learning. We hope that the next generation of learners in the secondary will benefit from the same enhanced resource.”

The school plans to name the new block Oak Tree, in keeping with two other buildings at the school which are called Elm Tree and Cherry Tree.

Temporary classrooms will be erected to minimise disruption while the project, which is being funded by Derby City Council and the Education Funding Agency, is underway.