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Work begins on £8m Norfolk academy

PUBLISHED: 14:04 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 25 July 2019

Students buried a time capsule as work began on the new Greenpark Academy. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Students buried a time capsule as work began on the new Greenpark Academy. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

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Building work has begun on a new two-storey 420-place academy costing £8m.

Students buried a time capsule as work began on the new Greenpark Academy. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeStudents buried a time capsule as work began on the new Greenpark Academy. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Greenpark Academy in King's Lynn is expected to be completed by the start of the new school year in 2020, and will also feature a 56-place nursery on its grounds with the academy itself replacing St Edmund's Academy, located two miles from the new site on Kilham's Way.

The new academy is being funded by Norfolk County Council as part of its £169m plan to create new schools and expand others to create extra school places in Norfolk.

Jill Graver, headteacher at St Edmund's Academy, said the main difference between the current school and Greenpark was its location in the centre of the North Lynn community, adding that children currently had to pass through a "grimy underpass" which flooded on a regular basis on their way to St Edmund's.

Ms Graver said: "We are really excited, but it's a real bittersweet moment as will be the end of St Edmund's, that's going to totally finish and we'll be moving to Greenpark Academy, so it will be a fresh start.

Greenpark Academy is set to be open in time for the 2020 school year. Photo: Greenpark AcademyGreenpark Academy is set to be open in time for the 2020 school year. Photo: Greenpark Academy

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"We're really excited about the new school, we've seen the plans in fact we've had the plans for a long time and we're looking forward to making the most of those brand new facilities."

Ms Graver said that she and the staff would miss the old school, adding that she wanted it to celebrate St Edmund's during its last year, however she also said she was looking forward to a new heating system, whiteboards and furniture.

Land for the school was gifted to the county council by West Norfolk council in order to support its work to deliver extra school spaces and modernise facilities.

Greenpark Academy is set to be open in time for the 2020 school year. Photo: Greenpark AcademyGreenpark Academy is set to be open in time for the 2020 school year. Photo: Greenpark Academy

The specialist Fen Rivers Academy will expand on to the old St Edmund's site to provide new specialist school spaces as part of the county council's £120m investment in Norfolk's special needs education facilities.

A celebration event organised by building contractors Cocksedge was held yesterday, which saw 18 students from St Edmund's bury a time capsule featuring drawings, artefacts and newspaper clippings from the school's history to commemorate the new academy.

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