08:30AM, Friday 05 June 2015
Work on a £2.3m three-storey teaching block at Burnham Grammar School (BGS) will start this year – with hopes a new sports hall will also be added.
A central block including a gym, changing rooms, toilets and staff offices will be flattened to make way for the new building after funding was secured through the Government’s Condition Improvement Fund.
The building will take in classrooms, two science labs, changing facilities and a dance and fitness studio.
The school in Hogfair Lane is also hoping a separate application will see the Government build a replacement sports hall alongside the new block.
That project would be completed on behalf of BGS through the Priority Schools Building Programme Two, bypassing the need for the school to get involved in any of the financial elements of the build.
The classroom building work will start in December and will be completed within 12 months.
A decision on the sports hall bid is due by September. Work could start at the same time as the other build or be delayed to avoid disruption.
Headteacher Andrew Gillespie said the changes would provide ‘fantastic’ facilities for students and that a new sports hall is vital to cope with growing pupil numbers.
“We have 1,000 students now and the gym is just not good or big enough,” he said.
“Every year group is oversubscribed.”
While the works are ongoing, three portable buildings will be placed on the outdoor netball courts to provide extra teaching spaces.
Toilet and changing room facilities will also be placed in temporary outdoor buildings.
Over the last year the school has also been running the Bricks 4 Burnham campaign to raise an extra £500,000 as part of the site revamp.
So far £230,000 has been raised by students, parents, alumni and donations from organisations in the village.
The money would pay for additional work to upgrade buildings.
Dr Gillespie added: “The response of students and parents has been really positive.
“Students have been involved in the design of the building and are passionate that it helps to reduce the school’s carbon footprint.
“With this new building the whole school is having new double glazed windows fitted to reduce the need of heating throughout the year.”