New school gym to open in November

PUBLISHED: 12:46 15 September 2013

An artist's impression of the new gym. Picture by C W Dukes.

An artist's impression of the new gym. Picture by C W Dukes.

C W Dukes

A SCHOOL hall and gymnasium should open on time as part of a major and 'long-awaited' refurbishment programme this summer.

An artist's impression of the new gym. Picture by C W Dukes.An artist's impression of the new gym. Picture by C W Dukes.

Builders have been working throughout the school holidays to create better facilities for students at Churchill Academy and Sixth Form.

Many of its existing buildings are more than 50 years old and staff hope the new hall and gym will help see the school build on last month’s exam success.

Business manager Alan Neale said the project is only possible because the school received a grant worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

He said: “The work will transform these key facilities. A grant of £750,000 has been won from the Education Funding Agency to improve the facilities.

“It comes hard on the heels of other successful bids to provide refurbishment of other buildings. Work has included installing new windows, cladding and roofing on classrooms, upgrading electrical distribution circuits, fitting a new fire alarm system and putting in replacement energy efficient gas boilers.

“Work is expected to be completed by the middle of November. Although there have been some delays due to the nature of the materials used in the original construction, the principal contractors, CW Dukes, are confident the project will come in on time.”

The changes to the gym will include a complete remodelling of the changing rooms.

Governors are also planning to make further improvements to the older buildings in the coming years.

Mr Neale said: “With 1950s and 1960s buildings, there is still a significant amount of refurbishment needed as the site was not designed for the number of students and staff the academy currently has.”

He said the governors would be working with the Department for Education to see what they can do in the future.

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