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Development work is set to commence in the Spring on the creation of a new study space and sports pavilion at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School (QEGS) in Ashbourne.

Plans to redesign and expand an existing building at the school’s Boothby Meadows site are well underway. Planning permission and DfE permission to expand have all been approved and a contractor will now be appointed via tender next month, with work on the new two storey building set to commence in May.

The project, which is a collaboration between QEGS and Ashbourne Rugby Union Football Club (ARUFC), will comprise of a new study space on the first floor and ground floor sports pavilion.

The study space will include the creation of nine new classrooms, study areas and break-out areas for students.

The sports pavilion will feature four new sports changing rooms, match official and first aid areas, enclosed viewing areas, new canteen and kitchen area, along with a new reception and office.

The £2.3 million project is joint funded by QEGS, Ashbourne RUFC (ARUFC) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and will help the school increase its capacity of students.

Derby-based cost consultants, quantity surveyors and project managers Armsons are working alongside fellow Derby-based architect YMD Boon on the project, alongside structural engineers JPL and building services engineers DGMEP Services.

The development is set to be completed and ready for occupation by July 2022.

Armsons will manage the concept design stage with the design team, along with the cost planning and the planning application process prior to progressing the procurement. They will also manage the budget on behalf of the school.

QEGS and ARUFC are looking for further financial support from individuals and groups within the local community and will be sharing details of fundraising plans in the coming weeks.

Commenting on the expansion programme, Scott Garrity, Headteacher at QEGS, said:

“This is a fantastic collaboration between QEGS and ARUFC to build facilities which will be used by thousands of children and their families, along with local sports clubs QEGS and ARUFC are looking for further financial support from individuals and groups within the local community and will be sharing details of fundraising plans in the coming weeks.

“Local building developments are increasing the catchment population and this expansion ensures that QEGS can accommodate all the children who choose QEGS as their local secondary school.”

Colin Smith, Chair of Governors, added:

“The funding from ARUFC and the RFU has ensured that the sports changing facilities in this project are befitting of a town with such great sporting talent and high participation levels.

The classrooms, study spaces and canteen will provide modern and spacious learning and social areas, improving students' educational experience and wellbeing. It has been a huge effort to get the project this far and I am excited by prospects it brings to us all.”

Martin Fryer, Club Chairman of ARUFC, said:

“Ashbourne Rugby club are delighted to be involved in this project and, after several years of hard work, are genuinely excited to see the plans come to fruition. The club has grown massively over the last decade or so and we now regularly field 15 teams over a weekend.

“A lot of the growth has come through the fantastic ongoing relationship we have with QEGS where, in the past, most of our players learned to play rugby before joining the club. It is fantastic for us to be able to build on that relationship and secure facilities that will benefit both the pupils and club members for generations to come. It means that we will now be able to offer all our junior players and visiting teams a safe and clean place to wash and change after a match, as well as somewhere they can have an after-match snack and a warm drink.

“We believe these brilliant new project facilities, together with the excellent new pavilion project on the rec, with which we are also proud to be associated, finally enable us to match what we offer on the coaching, training and playing side with facilities of the same high standard.

“We’re confident that it will enable us to fulfil the ever-growing demand to play rugby at all levels in a brighter future for both rugby and team sports at QEGS and in Ashbourne.”

Ben Hallam, Head of PE at QEGS, said:

“Safe, attractive changing spaces inspire enthusiasm and confidence for physical activity. The PE department at QEGS is really excited about the positive impact the new Boothby Campus changing facilities will have on teaching and learning, in Core PE, as well as improved participation in our extensive co-curricular programme.”

Sally Walters, Director at Armsons, who attended QEGS from the ages of 11 to 18, said:

“We’re pleased that Armsons have been selected to be part of the project team for this development. It’s great to be involved in a scheme that will improve the facilities for the pupils at the school and the 200 children who play in local teams.

“Armsons have provided consultancy advice and cost planning for other development projects in the education sector and are looking forward to delivering this fantastic new facility to the local Ashbourne community.”

Shari Setayesh, Director of YMD Boon said:

“We are very pleased to be part of the team assisting the Academy and the ARUFC to deliver their vision. The scheme is the extension and remodelling of an existing teaching block.

The school’s commitment to sustainability inspired our approach to the design of this facility. Avoiding demolition and utilising both the existing foundations and the building shell resulted in construction waste reduction and reduced the need for extensive excavation.”