THE £4.4million project to expand Addington School commenced groundwork this week.
The expansion will boost the school’s capacity to more than 250 students. It means 50 more children with special educational needs and disabilities from the Wokingham borough will be able to be educated closer to home, making families’ lives easier by reducing journey times, as well as reducing the council’s travel costs.
The building work is expected to be completed in spring, with four new classrooms, a café and social/breakout areas added to the site.
The new building officially opens in for the new school year in September 2020.
Between 60% and 70% of the construction will take place off-site by contractor Reds10.
This will reduce disruption to the school and its students.
The building will be made indoors, in sections and then transported to the school in Woodlands Road, Woodley.
Site set up began this week with groundworks taking place until January before the main build and fit-out starts.
The construction method means the materials can be packed flat, often with a whole building on one truck, reducing the number of vehicle trips required as part of the project compared to traditional construction.
It is thought that using construction approaches such as this will help Wokingham Borough Council towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
This follows the official opening of two new multi-use games areas (MUGAs), a new sensory path and an expanded car park at the end of September this year.
“I’m delighted to see the next phase of this exciting expansion project begin,” said Sal Thirlway, assistant director for children’s services (learning, achievement and partnerships). “The construction method we have chosen means there will be minimal disruption for the school and its students while still providing a fantastic, modern facility fitting the need of Addington School’s young people.
“It also showcases a type of construction method which will help the council in its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
“Being able to increase the number of places we are able to offer SEND children in Wokingham borough by building this new block, will help to improve the lives of our young people as well as their families by reducing travel times.
“Addington is rightly an Ofsted-rated outstanding school, which produces brilliant outcomes for young people. We are delighted we are going to be able to offer the chance to be educated there to even more children in our Borough from next year.”