New £13m complex needs school in Old Buckenham nears - as building work tips over halfway point

Staff, parents and pupils at the topping out ceremony held at the new Chapel Green School, in Old Bu

Staff, parents and pupils at the topping out ceremony held at the new Chapel Green School, in Old Buckenham, which will replace Chapel Road School in Attleborough. Picture: David Blake - Credit: Archant

A new £13m complex needs school in Old Buckenham has taken a step closer after building work tipped over the halfway point.

The topping out ceremony held at the new Chapel Green School, in Old Buckenham, which will replace C

The topping out ceremony held at the new Chapel Green School, in Old Buckenham, which will replace Chapel Road School in Attleborough. Picture: David Blake - Credit: Archant

Chapel Green School, on Attleborough Road, will replace Chapel Road School in Attleborough, doubling its capacity up to 110 pupils.

The construction work passed a milestone last week as the building reached its full height, an occasion marked with a topping out ceremony led by contractors Morgan Sindall.

It was one of a handful of expansions at Norfolk schools unveiled at the end of term, including Drake Primary School in Thetford, which has more than doubled with a £4.8m extension.

When finished, the two-storey Old Buckenham school will include 14 classrooms and tailor-made learning rooms, including a sensory space and hydrotherapy pool, as well as a computer suite, football pitches and multi-use games area.

The topping out ceremony held at the new Chapel Green School, in Old Buckenham, which will replace C

The topping out ceremony held at the new Chapel Green School, in Old Buckenham, which will replace Chapel Road School in Attleborough. Picture: David Blake - Credit: Archant


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As part of the ceremony, a tree made by pupils of Chapel Road and two Old Buckenham schools was revealed.

Terry Hickman-Smith, chairman of governors for the school, said: 'Today makes our dream an absolute reality. The staff have worked tirelessly with the pupils to ensure the best possible education for them in the difficult circumstances of a building totally unfit for purpose.

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'Soon those difficulties will be behind us and new challenges will emerge.'

He thanked all those involved, including contractors Morgan Sindall, who he said had worked with 'courteous efficiency'.

The expansions are part of a multi-million pound wider council plan to secure extra school places ahead of a boom in pupil numbers.

Penny Carpenter, chairman of the council's children's services committee, said: 'These are great examples of the way the council has been planning for the future and investing millions of pounds to create more modern school spaces, particularly in growth areas, to give more Norfolk children the opportunity to reach their potential by accessing good educational facilities in their local communities.'

Other projects to create places this year include expansions at Southtown Primary in Great Yarmouth, Browick Road Primary in Wymondham and Queen's Hill Primary in Costessey.

Do you have an education story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

Bowthorpe school expansion complete

Schoolchildren celebrated the completion of a £1m project to grow a Bowthorpe school.

St Michael's Junior School has seen four new classrooms added, which will see pupils move out of ageing mobile rooms.

The school hall has also been enlarged, the kitchen extended, office spaces added and a new entrance for pupils built.

An unveiling ceremony was held at the Diocese of Norwich school, attended by Diocese representatives, councillors, governors and the local community, with songs and poetry performed by pupils.

It was officially opened by Andy Mash, the diocesan director of education, who retires from the role this summer after 13 years.

Helen McCarney, headteacher at the school, said: ' We are very proud of these exceptionally beautiful new classrooms and delighted that the old mobiles have been replaced at last. The children and staff are excited about moving into them in September. '

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