News that work on the new £5million state-of-the-art campus at South Devon’s newest primary school has been hailed as the ‘best Christmas present we could have hoped for’.
Kingsteignton Primary School welcomed its first children in September 2016 but has to date shared facilities with St Michael’s C of E Primary.
The school is part of the £100million Newcross development proposals to build hundreds of new homes, roads, sports pitches and a park-and-ride facility in Kingsteignton.
Plans for the new school campus were approved this summer, and talks to prepare the much-awaited Newcross site took longer than expected.
But now the builders have confirmed they will start work after the Christmas break and if everything goes to plan the state-of-the-art premises should be open for the autumn term in September.
Principal Dr Penny Fitch said: “This really is the best Christmas present we could have hoped for. We’ve actually thrived at St Michael’s, so much so that we’ve had to create extra space for more children and been told we’re on track for an ‘Outstanding’ first Ofsted report.
“But naturally we want to be in our own place at Newcross where we’ll have plenty of room and with the very best high-tech facilities at our disposal.
“Kingsteignton is a growing town and needs us to open our doors as soon as we can, eventually we’ll have space for 420 pupils and be located right next to the new homes being built as we speak.
“We’re completely thrilled and can’t wait to see the construction team arrive in January, it will be a happy new year indeed.”
The land on which the free school will be developed was formerly owned by minerals firm Sibelco who obtained planning permission for the project.
The company’s UK Operations Manager Adam Daniels said: “This is great news and we’re very pleased to have played a part in delivering this much-needed school.
“Tribute must be paid too to Mike Walters, a former Kingsteignton councilor, who worked tirelessly to ensure the scheme got off the ground.
“I hope his drive and vision will be shared by the pupils as I’d like to think that some of them will go on to become our future employees and enjoy great careers in a highly-skilled and essential industry.”
The school will be a mixed primary school for children aged between three and 11 years and could be eventually house 480 students.
The new building will open with four classes. These will consist of a Year 2/3 class featuring the original pupils from September 2016, a Year 1 class and two reception classes. There is also likely to be a nursery.
The large site will boast high-tech low-energy buildings, landscaped grounds and eventually an all-weather playing field. The existing woodland and pond will be developed to form a wildlife/environmental area for the school and local community.
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