Monday, 26 January 2009

Work starts on new Primary School

Last week, as North Road ward councillor and a Governor of North Road Primary, I was invited to the Turf Cutting ceremony for the new school. North Road Primary, built 100 years ago, is an attractive building which unfortunately, according to the educationalists, no longer provides a suitable environment for modern schooling.

Its replacement, unlike the garish, cheap ugly boxes so beloved of the PFI companies, is of a cutting edge design, incorporating the latest thinking in environmental sustainability. Built on two levels, with rammed earth walls, a living sedum roof and a bio-mass boiler, the building will have virtually no negative impact on the environment.

There are rooms and changing facilities for the local community, who will also have access to the new school playing fields. The existing Grass Street Park play area will be rebuilt with new play equipment: an essential facility in an area where most of the houses have just a back yard.

In the turf-cutting ceremony, the Mayor joined some of the pupils in a muddy corner of the field, with JCBs performing graceful piruettes in the background. After a nice speech, the mayor plunged his blade into the sod and, after the obligatory photos for the builder's PR company, we all retreated to an exhibition and a reviving cup of coffee in the old school hall.
It's going to be great seeing the new building take shape.

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