Thursday, 23 November 2017

School plan for new classrooms and fitness suite

AN application has been made to extend Piggott School in Wargrave.

AN application has been made to extend Piggott School in Wargrave.

The secondary school wants to demolish two existing buildings and replace them with a two-storey modular building.

The application comes less than a year after work started on a £1.2million sixth-form extension at the Twyford Road school.

The new building would have two science laboratories, a specialist IT classroom, maths classrooms, a gym and fitness suite, two PE classrooms, male and female changing rooms and toilets.

It is hoped the fitness suite would be open to the public outside school hours.

The school, which has 1,230 pupils, says its current PE changing and teaching facilities are inadequate.

Up to 10 groups of students can be taught PE at the same time, meaning the changing rooms are often overcrowded. If the weather is bad, only five groups of students can be taught in the school hall.

The new building would also allow maths lessons to be taught in one place. At the moment, maths is divided between two locations, which staff say puts extra pressure on both resources and cohesion.

The planning application made to Wokingham Borough Council says the building would be similar in design and specification to the sixth-form centre as well as very flexible.

It says: “Modular buildings are very quick to build. Most of the construction will be carried out off-site and the modules delivered to site and installed.

“This method of construction minimises the disruption to the school and avoids the impact of prolonged on-site construction.”

The new building would also allow the two food technology kitchens to be improved.

They would be relocated from the first floor to the ground floor of the main school, so that disabled students can participate in group cooking lessons. The move would also improve the ventilation.

The vacated space would be converted into a staff common room. The existing facility can only accommodate 40 out of 170 members of staff.

Headteacher Hilary Winter said: “We are mindful that the planning committee may be concerned about this application for an additional modular building so soon after the completion of the sixth-form centre in 2012.

“It is in fact the success of that building project and the considerable enhancement made to the whole school that has led us to the conclusion that an additional classroom block will be a cost-effective and efficient solution to the needs of the school.

“The design and location of the new classroom unit has been planned to compliment the sixth-form building and enhance the visual appearance of the whole school.”

The application will be discussed at a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council on Monday.

The school, which has 1,230 pupils, says its current PE changing and teaching facilities are inadequate.

Up to 10 groups of students can be taught PE at the same time, meaning the changing rooms are often overcrowded. If the weather is bad, only five groups of students can be taught in the school hall.

The new building would also allow maths lessons to be taught in one place. At the moment, maths is divided between two locations, which staff say puts extra pressure on both resources and cohesion.

The planning application made to Wokingham Borough Council says the building would be similar in design and specification to the sixth-form centre as well as very flexible.

It says: “Modular buildings are very quick to build. Most of the construction will be carried out off-site and the modules delivered to site and installed.

“This method of construction minimises the disruption to the school and avoids the impact of prolonged on-site construction.”

The new building would also allow the two food technology kitchens to be improved.

They would be relocated from the first floor to the ground floor of the main school, so that disabled students can participate in group cooking lessons. The move would also improve the ventilation.

The vacated space would be converted into a staff common room. The existing facility can only accommodate 40 out of 170 members of staff.

Headteacher Hilary Winter said: “We are mindful that the planning committee may be concerned about this application for an additional modular building so soon after the completion of the sixth-form centre in 2012.

“It is in fact the success of that building project and the considerable enhancement made to the whole school that has led us to the conclusion that an additional classroom block will be a cost-effective and efficient solution to the needs of the school.

“The design and location of the new classroom unit has been planned to compliment the sixth-form building and enhance the visual appearance of the whole school.”

The application will be discussed at a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council on Monday.

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