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Schools' expansion project is on track
EXPANSION projects totalling more than £6m at primary schools across the borough are progressing well.
Swindon Council is pumping the cash into the scheme to help schools cope with the town’s growing population and provide hundreds of extra places at Haydonleigh, St Francis and Orchid Vale primary schools.
The first phase of a £3.8 million expansion at Haydonleigh is nearing completion. By the end of the scheme, which will see 15 new classrooms, a small hall and staff room being constructed, the amount of places at the school will increase from 420 to 630.
Headteacher Sue Heath said new places were being created steadily year on year.
“It’s a nice way of doing it because it allows everyone time to adjust to the changes,” she said.
“So far everything has been going really well.”
It is hoped the work will be finished by February next year.
Headteacher at Orchid Vale, Debbie Kalynka, said 30 extra pupils started in reception in September 2011, with another 30 pupils in Years 1 and 2 in the following two years.
To house the extra students, two temporary mobile units have been built at the front of the school, on Torun Way. The permanent structure’s planning permission was approved in October and work is expected to begin at Easter and be completed by September.
The school is part of Swindon’s seven northern schools which are financed by John Laing.
“It has been quite an exciting time,” said Mrs Kalynka.
“There has been a lots of change. Swindon Council and John Laing have worked really well to try to get the best for this school.”
A new assembly room and nursery will also form part of the development.
St Francis, based in Taw Hill, has finished its expansion and now caters for an extra 200 pupils.
And Crowdys Hill secondary school is set to undergo a £1.5 million refurbishment which headteacher Mags Clarke said would rejuvenate tired classrooms.
“It’s still in the very early stages – the drawings haven’t even been prepared yet,” said Mrs Clarke.
“It will allow us to provide for a great range of pupils, especially those with autism, as we will use some of the new facilities for break rooms.
“It’s going to be amazing, but I’m trying not to get too excited about it until the foundations are down.”
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