The extension of a new building at Foundry College in Wokingham has been officially opened by the Mayor of the Borough, Mayor Cllr Keith Baker MBE.

“We have gone from a corridor with 5 classrooms to a real school, with proper purpose built facilities. The students and staff are thrilled with their new learning and working environments.”

HLM Architects were appointed by Wokingham Borough Council to design the enhancement of the existing facilities of Foundry College up to the planning submission stage to create more space for its students.

Foundry College was created in 2011 from an amalgamation of Local Authority Services forming a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).  The unit provides education and support to pupils who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of permanent exclusion, as well as those with medical needs who cannot attend school regularly.

In addition to a full time education provision at its premises, Foundry College provides a range of outreach services to support pupils from Wokingham’s mainstream schools who have social, emotional and mental health issues, special educational needs and disabilities, poor attendance and those benefiting from alternative provision.

The design approach for the enhancements were developed in partnership with the school and Wokingham Borough Council, and focused on creating distinct areas for the three separate users of the college; primary age pupils, secondary age pupils and medical/vulnerable pupils.  The accommodation consists of teaching space along with the necessary supporting spaces such as group areas, staff office, halls, storage, circulation and toilet provision.

As well as the expansion to the building, the school site was expanded to the north and east into previously underused green space. New boundary treatment around the site ensured that there was no impact on the surrounding community, whereas the increased site area has been hugely beneficial to the pupils at the school.

By designing areas tailored to the different needs of each group an inclusive, safe and focused learning environment has been created to benefit both the pupils and the staff of Foundry College.

Sam Warwick, Project Manager; Wokingham Borough Council, said:

This project it has been a true team effort between HLM Architects, Morris and Blunt, WBC and Foundry College. and the finished result is really smart and of great quality. We have gone from a corridor with 5 classrooms to a real school, with proper purpose built facilities. The students and staff are thrilled with their new learning and working environments.”

Lee Fuller, WordPress Development, UK