Commenting on the expansion, which represents a County Council investment of over £3.5 million, Councillor Reid said: “Our priority is to be able to offer places at good quality local schools for every Hampshire child. I am really pleased to see the progress being made at Castle Hill to ensure that new children moving into the area will have the opportunity to go to school near to where they live.
“This scheme is part of our programme to provide 17,500 new places at Hampshire schools by 2021, with a total planned investment of around £140 million. I am very pleased that the County Council is on track to meet the rising demand for extra school places with our sustainable, value-for-money building programme.”
Designed by the County Council’s Property Services team, the new building under construction is a two storey, eight classroom extension which will increase the school’s capacity to a two-form entry school. This means that the school will be able to accept 60 new pupils in reception year (age 4 – 5), thereby increasing the number of primary school places at the school to 420, in response to local need for places resulting from new housing developments in the area.
Councillor Reid added: “Investing in quality school buildings that are built to be sustainable and provide a motivational environment for learning is something that the County Council is proud of. Having a significant in-house team of designers, who specialise in school buildings and have years of experience, means we are able to provide top quality, functional facilities that are also aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient.”
Castle Hill Primary School operates over two sites – Greenbank and Rooksdown. The extension is being made to the Rooksdown Campus. In addition to the eight classrooms, which include a space for music and drama, the new building will comprise two group working rooms, staff offices and toilet facilities.
The external façade has been designed to complement the appearance, character and scale of the existing building. The two buildings will be linked by a covered walkway.
An additional 12 car parking spaces will be provided for staff and visitors; and hard play and sports turf areas will be expanded.
Extra cycle and scooter storage, already in place, has encouraged sustainable travel to school, with the school now achieving Gold Modeshift STARS accreditation.
Construction, which began this summer by the main contractor Osborne, is scheduled to be completed during summer 2019, ready for the start of the 2019/20 academic year in September.