Free school building work

Scaffolding Free School building work
Scaffolding Free School building work

Demolition and building work is continuing at the old Dental Board site in Old Town - ready for the opening of the new Gildredge House Free School in just 11 weeks.

The free school will provide education for Reception through to Sixth Form. The school has been over-subscribed and will take 56 Reception pupils and 120 Year Seven pupils this September.

It will continue this pattern at the start of each academic year and be up to full capacity of 1,192 pupils by 2019.

The building work will be completed in two phases - the first phase is scheduled for completion two weeks before the opening date on September 4.

A spokesperson from Gildredge House said the work was on track to be completed in time for September’s first intake of pupils.

Lea Gilbert, headteacher at Gildredge House, said, “With just under three months to opening, the project is growing in pace and intensity and there is a real sense of things coming together.

“I’m starting to look forward to our weekly walk around the site, as there is a palpable sense of progress; a great deal of material has been removed from the site and the Phase 1 area has been remodelled extensively to create identifiable classroom spaces throughout.

“A highlight of Friday afternoon was standing on the roof with the Governors and surveying the site in the most glorious sunshine.”

So far, contractors have demolished the Temple Grove extension, removed a large amount of material from the site and remodelled it to create classroom spaces on both floors, ready for use in September.

And it is not just building work that is taking place.

Mrs Gilbert said, “There’s been a great deal of excitement in the office this week surrounding the school uniform.

“We spent the best part of a week looking closely at the various items and choosing a supplier. Once we had done this, we needed to decide upon the appearance and location of the school logo on each branded item, which took a surprisingly long time to get right, but was well worth the effort.”

The new uniform will be launched soon.