A topping out ceremony has taken place to mark the progress made on a new school in Derby. Oak Grange Primary School is now on track to open in September, ready for the new academic year.
The school is being built within the Snelsmoor Grange housing developments, The Meadows and Holbrook Grange. As well as the new development at Fellow Lands Way in Chellaston, the addition of 990 new homes is creating demand for primary school places in the area.
Morgan Sindall Construction started work on the Oak Grange project last August. The topping out ceremony celebrated the completion of the external structure and roof of the building, which has been funded through Section 106 contributions from the housing developer.
East Midlands Education Trust, a partnership of 22 high-performing schools in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, has been chosen to open the school. Oak Grange Primary will build pupil numbers incrementally, increasing by one year group each year. When it opens in September, admissions will be for Nursery and Reception children only.
The school will then increase in size gradually each academic year until it reaches its capacity of 315 pupils, aged from 4 to 11 years, in September 2029.
The new school building can also be accessed by the local community, who will be able to use the facilities at evenings and weekends, as well as out-of-hours for social groups.
Lungfish Architects designed the school to be in keeping with its agricultural surroundings whilst Morgan Sindall worked collaboratively to deliver its vision. This was achieved by prioritising the building’s elevations, with massing and roof lines identifying three key gabled ‘barns’ that are connected by glazed links, providing daylit corridors and connections to the natural world within the core of the school. The rural vernacular is also reflected by utilising metal cladding, timber and render external cladding, with deep window reveals and feature windows.
As part of the Derby Schools Programme, Oak Grange is now the fifth school Morgan Sindall has delivered in partnership with Lungfish Architects as the principal designer. The project was procured via the SCAPE Regional Construction Framework.
As part of Morgan Sindall’s Intelligent Solutions approach, the team mobilised its 10 Tonne Carbon Challenge at Oak Grange Primary School and as a result saved 14.78 tonnes of carbon dioxide through alternative construction methods; this is the equivalent of heating five homes annually.
Within the local area, the contractor achieved a spend of 40% within 20 miles, whilst offsite, the team volunteered a total of 96 hours with various charities including Doorways Derby foodbank, and also organised an event to help raise £2,100 for nearby Packington Cricket Club.
Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills at Derby City Council said:
It’s wonderful to see Oak Grange Primary School reach this exciting milestone. The school will be at the heart of this new neighborhood, becoming a hub not just for the children but the wider community.”
Richard Fielding, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said:
We’re incredibly pleased to mark this important milestone at Oak Grange Primary School. It's great to see the building take shape and to have completed the external structure and roof.
This project is particularly exciting as it hasn't just been designed with pupils in mind, but for the whole community to utilise at evenings and weekends too. This will make it a real focal point for the area when it opens later this year. It’s a place we hope all local residents can enjoy.”
Applications for Nursery and Reception places for September are open and two information events will be held to allow parents to find out more about the new school.
Headteacher designate Sarah Coleman said:
It’s very exciting to see the school building coming together. Walking through corridors and into classrooms makes Oak Grange Primary School very real. We can imagine the children playing, learning and growing and it will be an absolute privilege to be with them at the start of their journey in September.”
Rob McDonough, Chief Executive of East Midlands Education Trust, added:
The Trust is delighted to be working so closely with Derby City Council on the creation of this new school for the Boulton Moor community. We are all looking forward to welcoming our first cohort of children into the school next year and we are determined to ensure they have a wonderful time with us as well as the very best possible education.”
Nathan Webb, Project Architect at Lungfish Architects said:
We are now approaching 1,700 school places delivered for Derby City Council within the last four years. Lungfish Architects is thrilled to be working closely again with the council and Morgan Sindall to provide vital school places for a growing local community.
Sitting unobtrusively within the landscape, Oak Grange is an example of a rural school with links back to an agricultural past. The wealth of natural light, materials and colour palette creates an inspiring learning environment that is well connected to the world outside.”
For more information, contact Alice Lee at Influential, 07450 562 743 / [email protected]