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Park Community School celebrates milestone in major transformation project

Thursday 19 September 2013

Transformation project

A key milestone in a multi-million pound project to transform Park Community School in Havant, has been celebrated at a special event.

A 'topping out' ceremony was held on 17 September 2013 to mark the completion of the steel frame for the new building which is being built as part of a £21.5million project to improve education facilities at the school.

With over two thirds of the old school built in the 1950s, the buildings were reaching the end of their useful life, so the school is now being transformed, with elements of the buildings replaced and refurbished to provide a 21st century learning environment for the school's 900 pupils.

Construction work at the school began on 11 March 2013. The multi-phase project will rebuild 70% of the school buildings which are suffering from structural deterioration, and replace them with brand new facilities for decades to come. The refurbishment and extension of the existing theatre and sports block will provide an expanded performing arts and sports complex, and the existing science and technology block is being re-roofed, re-clad and refurbished on the inside. The new teaching block replaces the older accommodation on site which will be demolished once the students have moved into the new accommodation in the summer of 2014. The topping out ceremony this week marks a milestone in the construction of this new building.

Demolition, refurbishment of the remaining existing accommodation, landscape works and reinstatement of car parking will follow with an anticipated completion in Spring 2015.

Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar congratulated all those involved in the project's progress. He said: "Park Community School is an example of a school which has truly transformed in every sense. Not only has it become an outstanding school with sustained high performance over the past five years, it is also among the top performing schools in the country for the progress and improvement achieved by pupils as they move through the school. In addition, the school is popular locally, and is recognised as an institution which is generous in its support of partner schools, which is highly commendable.

"The completed project will look like a new building throughout and this £21.5million project to now transform the fabric of the school represents a very significant investment by the County Council. Not only will pupils have the best possible start in life with the provision of these fantastic enhanced learning facilities, but local residents are also set to benefit as many of the facilities will be available for community use - building on the excellent work the school already does. I am proud to be part of a County Council that still has the capacity and commitment to invest so heavily in our children's education."

The school itself has been closely involved in the project to design the new structure, working closely with the County Council's architects to help design the layout of some of the spaces.

Headteacher, Christopher Anders is a National Leader of Education and contributes to local and national support strategies for other schools. He said: "We are delighted to have reached this stage in the building of our new school. Many colleagues in school, at the County Council and in building trades have worked together since 2008 to make this possible. The facilities which will be available from next September will ensure that students at Park Community School continue to benefit from not only the best teaching, but also the finest resources and most stimulating facilities we can provide. We are really excited about the school's future and that of students now and for many years to come."

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