Major £4.5m expansion of primary school gets underway
- Credit: Archant
Work has begun on a major £4.5m expansion which is set to make a school into one of the region's biggest primaries.
Construction workers have begun to demolish the temporary mobile units of Hillcrest Primary School, in Downham Market, to make way for a two-storey, nine-classroom extension for pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6.
Contractors Morgan Sindall moved onto site during the May half-term break for the start of a mammoth 16-month period of construction.
In a Norfolk County Council planning committee report, it states that the £4.5m development will also include group and meeting rooms, toilet facilities and plant rooms and stores.
The extension is due to be completed by March 2019 which will see further work begin on redeveloping the existing school, including an additional reception classroom, library and hall redevelopment and additional car parking spaces which is expected to be completed by September 2019.
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The school currently has capacity for just over 490 pupils, with some being taught in five temporary mobile classrooms.
But once the expansion is complete, the pupil capacity is set to rise to 630 by September 2020.
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Headteacher Matthew Try said: 'The school development, once complete, will allow us to rid the school of the growing mobile city that has taken shape over the past few years since the school began converting to three-form entry in 2014, with the three classes in each year group.
'The £4.5 investment in Hillcrest by Norfolk County Council is an opportunity for both an extension to the school and redevelopment of the existing building that will allow our committed staff to provide our enthusiastic children the modern learning environment that they deserve.'
The school will be one of the biggest primary schools in the county along with Queen's Hill Primary in Costessey, Sheringham Primary, Catton Grove Primary and Robert Kett Primary, Wymondham - all of which have a similar capacity.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the plans are part of the county council's £169m programme to develop new and extended schools to ensure there are sufficient school places across the county, to meet the demands of both population growth and housing development.