Buildings are now in place for the new primary school at Arborfield Green, designed by HLM Architects working for Wokingham Borough Council. Modules have begun being lifted into place for the 420-place school which is due to open its doors next year and is currently under construction as part of the Arborfield Garrison major development.
The school, which the council intends to become the home for Farley Hill Primary School, is set to open its doors in September 2021 and will include community facilities such as an all-weather sports pitch for use outside school hours. A nursery will also be part of the premises, which has room and planning permission to expand to 630 school places if required.
Seventy per cent of the building work for the new block will be completed modularly offsite, a decision made to cut carbon emissions in the construction process by our contractor Reds10. This helps the council towards its goal of making Wokingham a carbon neutral borough by 2030.
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “We’re now almost six months away from welcoming the borough’s young people into this fantastic brand new facility. It will grow organically, as the community in Arborfield develops as more people move in, with capacity to grow further if extra places are needed.
“Opening this school at the heart of the new development will undoubtedly be popular with those who live in the area and help minimise traffic congestion and carbon impacts of residents driving their children to school further from where they live.”
Claire Wakelin, Studio Director at HLM Architects, said: “This new school will be a purpose built, contemporary building with enhanced, state-of-the-art teaching spaces that meet the highest standards for learning environments. The facility design has been driven by sustainability and environmental concern and will be a safe and nurturing space that will allow pupils to thrive. We are excited to see the scheme advance to the next stage and to see the benefits it will soon bring to the local community.”
The modular construction takes place at the Reds10 factory in Hull, with 44 modular frames being built as part of the first phase, transported to the Arborfield site and lifted into place.
Michael Ruddick, Commercial Director, Reds10, said: “This is a hugely significant project that will benefit the growing community of Arborfield with a much-needed new school. We have worked closely with the Council and other stakeholders to deliver a fit-for-purpose, modern learning environment which has sustainability at its heart and centre. We are pleased to see this project advance to the next stage and look forward to its completion.”
Internal fit out of the building has now begun and will continue over the next six months. Completion of the sports pitch and other landscaping works will continue into the new year with handover of the finished building expected in early summer 2021.
Arborfield Green’s new school’s facilities are funded through developer contributions as part of the four major new communities at Arborfield, Shinfield and North and South Wokingham, and includes an investment of £98million in new schools.