Construction is now well underway at St Crispin’s School in Wokingham creating multi-million pound facilities to give students a 21st Century education.
Wokingham Borough Council is funding the major £5.5million works at the specialist maths, science and computing secondary school, which includes a state-of-the-art science block, a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and redesigned classrooms.
The new facilities will enable the popular school – rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted - to rationalise its existing curriculum, as well as address a shortfall in accommodation for the number of students on roll.
During the next few years the council plans to invest some £18 million in schools across Wokingham Borough to enhance education provision, as well as an additional £2 million on buildings maintenance.
Other projects include; Colleton Primary, Winnersh Primary, Bearwood Primary, Hawkedon Primary and the Bulmershe School. A new £290,000 MUGA has opened this month at The Holt School.
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children's services, said: "It is often said that in the public sector the word ‘investment’ is often misused. However Wokingham Borough Council is extremely proud of our investment in the future of our young people and these new facilities at St Crispin's School will provide a return on many levels over many years.
"It is wonderful to attend an outstanding school which focuses on maths, science and computing – skills that are essential to Britain’s future prosperity in the global knowledge economy. We need to educate new generations of children who can compete, not just with other schools in the area, but against their global counterparts."
Headteacher Alex Biddle, who is retiring this term after 20 years at the school, said: "Wokingham Borough Council asked us what was needed, and these new facilities are the wish list of what I wanted for our students and staff. With these fabulous new facilities I can think of no better way of leaving the school.
"The new science labs are fantastic. The MUGA will more than replace the old tennis courts that stood where the block now rises. The existing science labs are being completely re-designed and refurbished for other subjects such as music, media, English and drama."
The block also incorporates an outdoor covered courtyard to be used for social and learning experiences, and contains a multi-use lecture theatre.
It is hoped the facilities will be ready for students by December.
The science block is designed by architects Ellis Williams and is being built by Dawnus Construction. The council’s properties services department is managing the whole project.