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Five million pound school transformation reaches half-way mark

A major transformation of a former Cleethorpes Secondary School site into the new home for Bursar Primary Academy has reached the half-way stage.

North East Lincolnshire Council, working in partnership with ENGIE, started the second phase of the refurbishment of the former Matthew Humberstone Lower school site in September with contractor the Lindum Group.

Renovating the former Matthew Humberstone Lower School in Clee Road will cost about £5m across both phases and has provided local jobs in the building industry during the project.

The site will be Bursar Primary Academy’s new home from September 2018 after the Department for Education approved the business case for the relocation and additional school places last year.

Five million pound school transformation reaches half-way mark

Council members, Bursar Academy’s co-headteacher and trustees, along with employees from the Council and ENGIE had the chance to see the transformation during a tour of the site on Friday.

Councillor Ros James, portfolio holder for children and young people said:

By breathing new life into this much-loved building we’re giving Bursar Primary Academy the ability and space to grow and inspire its pupils with a 21st Century learning environment.

Every child in North East Lincolnshire deserves to have the best start in life and that means having access to first-rate facilities where they can learn new skills and raise their aspirations.

This is a building that can be adapted to suit growing demand and redeveloping the site is a massive improvement to the street scene on one of the main roads into the resort.

Mrs Pomfret, co-headteacher of Bursar Primary Academy, stated that regular visits to the site had enabled her to see the renovations bringing the building back to life and to share these with staff, parents and pupils through their school website and Facebook page, adding:

The pupils were able to take 3D tours around the new premises by accessing the website and were excited about the many facilities that would be available to them.

School councillors had consulted with their peers and had produced a time capsule for the new premises, discussed uniform which was to remain the same and suggested colour schemes for parts of the building.

Mrs Pomfret went on to say that as the move to the new premises was now so close, the excitement was tangible, the plans were becoming a reality and the enthusiasm was evident.

Moving to the new site means Bursar Primary Academy can gradually increase its pupil numbers over seven years from 210 to 315 to support increasing demand and parental choice in Cleethorpes. The build will also result in the creation of new education jobs for the area.

Bursar Primary Academy’s current home is located in Bursar Street, Cleethorpes, but is landlocked with no school playing field and therefore has no capacity to increase pupil numbers.

The refurbished site will provide pupils access to a 21st century learning environment as already enjoyed by most of the borough’s children.

Funding for the renovation has been generated through an allocation of a central government grant and receipts which will be generated from the sales of part of the playing field from the lower school site and the former Lindsey Lower School site playing field.

The architects have designed the scheme to take into account the building’s heritage and many decorative features, such as the entrance arch, will be renovated or replaced to keep its character during the renovation. A school has been on the site since the 1880s but the current building has stood empty since 2010.

The building was extended during the 1930s and in the 1960s and as such is classified as a heritage asset, which is included on the local authorities Local List of heritage buildings.

Existing Ironmongery in a large part of the School is by one of the oldest architectural ironmongers in the country James Gibbons and Co from Wolverhampton. The intention is to retain this ironmongery and re-use it where possible.

Work completed so far includes:

Phase 1

  • Dropping of the old gym, swimming pool and dining block
  • Removal of dilapidated mobile classrooms
  • Clearance of the site
  • Making the site watertight

Phase 2

  • A complete strip-out of the building
  • Walls demolished to reconfigure classrooms
  • Internal Courtyard cleared for reinstatement as Key Stage 1 playground
  • New drainage installed
  • Windows refurbished sympathetically
  • Plastering and decorating
  • A new roof has been built on the school entrance arch along with new door frames and wooden panels.
  • A fence has also been put up to separate the field and works have been carried out to improve the staff car park.

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