THE FIRST brick of a new £1 million school block is about to be laid after a two year wait, a move which will see vastly improved class life for more than 100 pupils.
Drainage work is currently being carried out on the site at Great Malvern Primary School and construction on the building which will have six classrooms, a kitchen and toilets will officially begin next Sunday (November 3).
It will mark the end of a long wait for school staff who have tried for years to finance a project to replace the current mobile units which have fallen into a desperate state.
Deputy headteacher Sarah Hanson told the Observer the decision was made to convert to an academy in 2011 to fund the work as improvements were not considered a ‘priority’ by Worcestershire County Council.
And thanks to the Government’s Academy Maintenance Fund the school secured the £1 million investment at the second attempt earlier in June this year.
“The main school is Victorian and we had outgrown it.
“We’ve had the mobile classes for years and they are now in a very poor state, they are leaking, freezing in the winter and very cramped.”
Within months two large cranes were brought in to hoist the two double class blocks onto the lower playground to allow work on the new building to commence.
It had originally been hoped the new block would be finished in time for next March however the drainage works have pushed the estimated completion date back by eight weeks with pupils now expected to move in to their new classes in May.
Ms Hanson added the oversubscribed school was now in a position to consider taking on extra pupils in the future.
Headteacher Paul Jackson-Read said the project would never have got off the ground if the school had not converted to an academy.
“After months of effort, I am absolutely delighted work has started on this exciting project.
“The old mobile classrooms are a very poor environment for children to learn in.
“The new block will enable our Year 4 to Year 6 children to learn in a bright, engaging and appropriate space. It’s what they deserve.
“Whilst I am not looking forward to the inevitable disruption to school life, we are all keeping focused on the superb facilities we will have next year. The disruption will be worth it.”