As the external structures of the school are being finished off it is also full steam ahead with the internal fit out. The classroom floors have had their underfloor heating fitted and the first layer of screed added. Features like the kitchen dinner hatch are emerging and the corridor down past the classrooms gives a great feeling of space with lots of walls to put display and pictures on. The classrooms are feeling really spacious with low windows and skylights letting in lots of light. Up above the water and sprinkler pipes are being fitted and the wall insulation put back after the winds from storm Barney ripped through the building. The school is already blending into the environment as we look across from the back to the new housing.
Today the Steering group met to review how the build is going. We are already in week 24 of the 44 week build and it is pleasing to hear all is on track. One of the things we discussed was what external structures would be moved from the current school to the new one. A member of the bam team is to visit the current school soon to see what is possible. It was also fixed that the pupil school council will attend the Topping Out Ceremony on the 9th December. See the internet to read what this ceremony is about. We also heard that the children are asking if they could put a time capsule on the site.
The external walls of the school are now being covered with insulation panels covering up the pink. The walls are then covered with three layers of coloured rendering that are the final watertight finish.
With the weather changing to a cold spell it is good to see the exterior coating of the school being added. The wall external panels are fitted over the purple insulation and then a given a coating to finish them off. At the same time the exterior doors and windows are being fitted so it will not be too long till the building water tight.
After the heavy rain the pond and wetland area is establishing itself. If you think you might have some pond plants that we could use do let the school office know. If you have some expertise in establishing ponds or know someone local that does, again do let us know. It would be really beneficial for the children to hear what you have to think about and to plan what actions we need to take to create a natural wetland habitat.
The School Pupil Council have started to raise funds for a trim trail at the new school see how they are getting on visit their webpage here.
In preparation for our children visiting the new school site, we had a special assembly today with visit from ‘Ivor Goodsite’! The children were taught about the nature of building sites, and what health and safety rules are important for visits.
This week we held our latest Governor and Somerset County Council steering group meeting and I am pleased to report all is on track with the building. First we wandered around the site to see the external and internal walls of the school emerging. Then we met in the upper room of the protacabins to review all aspects of the build from the drains to the new white goods we will to order for places like the foundation unit kitchen. In picture above governors Rachel Scully and Steve Chaudoir with site manager Graham Holt by the new kitchen.
The October Governor’s meeting approved additional days closure of the school and pre-school to help us pack up and move into the new school. The decision was to close the school for 3 days before the Whitsun half term break and 2 days after. The details are: School closed additional days:
Wednesday 25 May closed
Thursday 26 May closed
Friday 27 May closed
Then closed for already fixed half term holiday: Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June
Monday 6 June (Which was already booked off as a staff training/non pupil day) closed
Tuesday 7 June closed
School opens again in the new school on Wednesday 8 June
This is a one off additional closure which we hope parents can make use of to have a longer holiday if they wish to, though we shall also be asking for some support with the move nearer the time.
On the teacher training day 2 November there was an excited buzz as the staff visited the new school site. There was lots of reflection as they stood in the new classroom spaces, looked out from the hall doors and wandered round the grounds thinking where climbing apparatus could go. There was lots of chatter about the opportunities coming to give a further boost to the curriculum. The staff were shown round by Graham Holt the bam site manager. (In picture with Sue English Headteacher below)
The main school hoarding that shows the artist view of the new school is to be joined by three hoardings painted by the children in the next week or so.
The grass on the school field is growing really well if this mild spell continues we might need to cut it soon!!!!!! It certainly will be ready when we move in in June.
Now the dark nights are with us you will notice if you drive past the school lights on inside the school building and cameras to monitor the site. This is all part of ensuring a safe and secure site an aspect of the build that the Governor’s steering committee is really impressed with in the way bam operates. See below the scarecrow what should its name be?
Now the external structures are secure the internal fitting has started. The lay out of the corridors, classrooms and office spaces are being constructed. Now is also the time that they are laying out the pipes and conduit to take the wiring and the pipe work.
One four year old who drives past ‘her school’ on the way to nursery each day was pleased to see it was all pink in bright sun lights and purple when weather is a bit dull. Some of the children on their weekly welly walk stopped to look at the new school and were invited in to take a closer look safely behind the security barrier, see picture on the builder’s bam Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BAM-New-Countess-Gytha-Primary-School-299051480219328/?fref=ts or see Robin Class page on school website. More of the children will be visiting the new school over the coming weeks and if you would like to visit as well let them know in the office and we will arrange times.
By the way the purple covering is not the finish it is the insulation layer.
Lots of the systems to support the school are being put in place. This includes the water tank and pump house for the sprinkler system we all hope we will never need to use. A first set of solar panels have been fitted to the roof with lots of room to expand in the future if needed. On the roof of the hall the ventilation system housed in what looks like bee hives have been added.
The project management team report on solar panels:
bam have completed the installation of a small ‘domestic scale’ array of PV solar panels on the roof of the new building above the staff room. These panels were not included in the original plans, but have been achieved within the overall cost of the build as an ‘added benefit’ item and to see how well they would work on the school roof as a test. These panels will provide a small benefit, similar to the typical installation on a small house, of on-site energy generation, with the Government feed in tarrif available from 2016. The children will monitor the energy created as part of their studies covering subjects like maths and science.