Thursday, 29 October 2009

Revolutionary new school nears completion

Last week the three North Road ward councillors were given a guided tour of the new North Road Primary School, to be re-named Northwood Primary. The photo above is inside the new school hall.

With living walls, sedum roof, biomass boiler, brown water recycling and just about every carbon reduction device you could think of, this will be a remarkable change in environment (as you can see in the photo below which shows both old and new schools) for children and teachers alike.

The school is on target to open in January. The site is a hive of activity - yet strict rules (even the mobile phones of both workers and visitors have to be turned off on site in case their ringing causes a distraction and hence an accident) have meant that there has not been one single accident during the whole construction phase.

Here is a selection of photos taken on the day.

First: the outdoor steps leading up from the playground to the first floor outdoor corridor and classrooms. The roof is green because it is covered with living sedum plants, which provide natural insulation, aid water run off and look green!

Second: looking back from the wildlife pond area across the playground. The pond area will have outdoor teaching areas and the obligatory newts, both of whom are currently being cared for off-site.

Third: the sloping roofs, all planted up with living sedum: a sloping design which is continued in the flower beds in the playground. You can see that the walls are all clad in hardwood.

Four: the existing North Road Primary School seen from the new school playground, a lovely looking Edwardian building no longer suitable for modern educational practice. The old school will be pulled down and the land used for new school playing fields. The new biomass boiler is the silver object at right centre. The taller building on the far right, clad in angled wood planks, is the school hall.

Five: myself, Anne-Marie and Fred with hard hats, high vis jackets, gloves and boots outside the main door exit on to the playground.

The outdoor corridor at first floor level. The vertical windows to the left are for the classrooms. The windows below are skylights for the main ground floor corridor below. Wood cladding everywhere.

Your three ward councillors standing in front of one of the living walls.

The main ground floor corridor.

One of the living walls. Nearer the ground are edible herbs, higher up are ferns and other green plants.

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