Press release: Derby school reopens in multi-million pound hi-tech building

A Derby primary school which has received a high-tech new building through the government’s rebuilding programme is holding its official reopening ceremony today (21 September 2015).

Reigate Park Primary School is the first of 6 schools to reopen in Derby through the £4.4 billion priority school building programme (PSBP), which is transforming some of the most run-down schools in the country.

As a result of £4.6 million worth of construction, the school’s old buildings have been replaced with a 2-storey building of insulated timber with modern heating, lighting and ventilation systems to ensure excellent energy efficiency.

Infants and juniors will all be taught under 1 roof, rather than in 2 separate buildings as previously. The new building also includes a dedicated, modern unit for deaf children.

Schools Minister Lord Nash said:

Through the priority school building programme we are investing in school buildings across the country to transform the learning environment for tens of thousands of pupils and their teachers while delivering value for money for the taxpayer.

The reopening of Reigate Park Primary School marks a key milestone for the programme in Derby, and these new school buildings will provide modern, fit-for-purpose facilities for pupils and staff for many years to come.

As part of this government’s commitment to social justice, we want all children, regardless of background, to learn in high-quality schools which will give them the best possible chance to unlock their potential.

Peter Hallsworth, Headteacher of Reigate Park Primary School, said:

The governors, pupils, parents and staff are extremely grateful for the fantastic new learning environment that we are now fortunate to have. We are sure that this new environment will support our children in their learning and our teachers in their teaching.

We would like to thank the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Bowmer and Kirkland for providing us with this new school.

John Kirkland, Chairman of Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, said:

This is a great day for the pupils and staff of Reigate Park Primary and for the wider community of Derby. This is the first of 6 city schools which we are constructing for the EFA and this investment in the education of our young people will help to raise the aspirations of generations of pupils. I am very pleased that Bowmer and Kirkland is part of the priority school building programme.

Thanks to the PSBP, school buildings are being rebuilt faster and cheaper than those built under the previous school building initiative – Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Under the BSF it took 3 years for construction work to begin. This was slashed to 1 year for the PSBP, with projects costing around a third less.

A total of 537 schools will benefit from construction through the 2 phases of the PSBP.

Notes to editors

  1. The PSPB was established in 2011. A total of 260 schools have successfully applied for refurbishment work through the first phase of the programme.
  2. Thanks to decisions which have been taken to improve efficiency and reduce waste, significant work on those projects is already underway. In September, 22 buildings are reopening through PSBP thanks to £160 million of construction work, bringing the total number to have been re-opened through the first phase of PSBP to 49.
  3. In May 2014 the government announced a further £2 billion for the second phase of the programme. A list of the 277 schools to benefit from the second phase of the PSBP was published on 9 February 2015.

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