Construction has started on a new £6million primary school for families living at Priors Hall Park in Corby.
The sod-cutting ceremony for the new school took place yesterday (Thursday) with representatives from the Bela Partnership Ltd, Gotch Saunders and Surridge LLP (GSS), Watson & Cox Ltd, Northamptonshire County Council, Corby Council and Woodnewton Academy Trust.
The primary school is of major importance to us, as developers of Priors Hall Park, as it adds a further dimension for our residents and future residents with childrenJames Edwards
The two-form entry primary school will accommodate up to 420 children, and will be the first primary school on the development.
There will also be a community centre located at the heart of the park and it is hoped both projects will serve the completed and future homes planned for Priors Hall Park.
The scheme is due for completion next summer.
Bela marketing director James Edwards said: “The primary school project is of major importance to us, as developers of Priors Hall Park, as it adds a further dimension for our residents and future residents with children.
“It is part of a continued multi-million pound investment to make Priors Hall Park the UK’s most successful large urban development, delivering 5,000 much needed new homes.”
Mike Haddock, chairman of the residents’ association for the area, was thrilled to be asked to attend the sod-cutting, but was keen for children from the area to be involved so he asked several youngsters to help mark the milestone.
Mr Haddock, who has lived there for four years, said: “It’s a great honour to be here but I am here on behalf of the residents, and these children are the important ones.
“They are the ones who will use the school and have a future here.”
He said he was keen to see the project finished on time, and added: “I look forward to 12 months’ time and having the opening ceremony.”
Project manager Stefan Glissman said it will take about 12 months to complete the work.
The first pupils should then be able to get into the classroom for the new school year starting in September 2016.
He said: “The completion date is early August but we are striving to finish before that.
“It will probably be about this time next year, which will then give the school and the teachers sufficient time to get in and get used to their new surroundings.”
Mr Glissman said there could be up to 50 people working on the site at peak times during the construction process, many of whom will be local or from the Midlands.
He said CCTV cameras will be installed around the site and he hopes to use images from these to create a time-lapse video to chart the scheme’s progress.
GSS, which is based in Kettering, has been appointed as project managers and quantity surveyors for the project.
Partner Ian Bray said: “GSS are delighted to be entrusted with managing the delivery of the first primary school and community facility on this exciting and desirable urban expansion.”
The primary school is situated in the town gardens area of Priors Hall Park.
Once the school and community centre are completed, the next project will be to create a market place offering a centre for shopping, food and entertainment for residents.