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Pupils to stay at home for longer following delayed school build

PUBLISHED: 17:44 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:44 06 August 2019

Reception classes have to wait longer to join the school following delays to a new build.  Picture: Ian Burt

Reception classes have to wait longer to join the school following delays to a new build. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Pupils at a West Norfolk primary will start school later than expected following delays to a £4.5m build.

Reception classes have to wait longer to join the school following delays to a new build. Pictured is Headteacher, Matthew Ely. Picture: Ian BurtReception classes have to wait longer to join the school following delays to a new build. Pictured is Headteacher, Matthew Ely. Picture: Ian Burt

Reception pupils at Hillcrest primary school in Downham Market, who were due to start school for the first time on September 4 will have to wait five days before starting school, because of an issue with the stability of the classrooms.

The school extension is part of the county council's £169m programme to develop schools across the county, to ensure there are sufficient spaces to meet the demands of both population growth and housing development.

Final stages of the £4.5 million work was to complete the Reception classes towards the front of the school, however contractors identified an issue with the classrooms after removing the old roof.

An update posted on the school website said: "It is with regret, that we have to inform the parents of the children due to start in the new Reception classes that the building project has fallen behind schedule.

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"We hope that this is our last new build update and that the build goes to plan over the summer, so all children can enjoy their classrooms in September.

"It was not until the contractors removed the roof, in preparation for putting the new one on, that a structural issue was identified.

"This structural issue needed rectifying for the stability and security of the new classrooms, but unfortunately this has delayed the progress of the planned works.

The school is one of the largest primary schools in the county and is set to increase its pupil size from 507 to 630 in September.

The statement on the website continued: "The school has been assured by both the contractors and the local authority officers overseeing the construction works, that this issue could not have been foreseen until after the removal of the old roof. "Unfortunately, there is nothing the school can do to speed up the progress of the works as we are in the hands of the construction team.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to those parents with children due to start school for the first time in September, but ultimately look forward to welcoming them to the Hillcrest family as soon as possible and in our smart new facilities."

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