MORE than 500 extra school places have been created across Warwickshire this year, thanks to expansion work completed by Ashe Construction.

Four schools including Coten End Primary School in Coten End, Lapworth Primary School near Solihull and All Saints School and Aylesford School in Warwick have all been extended as part of a £5.5 million investment by Warwickshire County Council.

The finished projects were part of the council’s plans to meet high demand for extra school places in the area and include 18 new classrooms across the four schools as well as new staff rooms, corridors, office spaces, toilets, school halls and a single storey building.

A £2.7 million investment has also allowed Aylesford School to become the first combined primary and secondary school in the region, while Lapworth Primary School’s £500,000 extension saw their classes move from mixed aged group classes to single year groups.

Partnerships director at Ashe Construction, Sheridan McKnight, is delighted with the finished projects. He said: “Everyone at Ashe Construction has worked very hard over the past year to ensure that each project was delivered successfully – not only on time and within budget – but also to the highest standard.

“We had a great partnership with each school ensuring that they were aware of our progression and plans every step of the way and everyone worked well together to minimise the impact of the work. The children, parents and staff are all very happy with the finished projects.

“Everyone enjoyed working with each one of the schools and had some great fun engaging the schoolchildren in our work – we buried a time capsule at Coten End Primary School and enjoyed showing the children at Lapworth Primary School around their new school, with a special site visit.

“Ashe Construction is currently working on a number of other school projects in Warwickshire and we look forward to helping the region further, by bringing more school places to the area.”

Warwickshire county council’s design and major projects manager, Gordon O’Dell, added: “These new school buildings have provided additional pupil places, which addresses the increasing number of primary-age children in Warwickshire and is part of the Council’s investment strategy for its education needs.

“The design and construction works have been successfully delivered through the partnership working between the Council, empa and Ashe Construction.”

All the projects were completed through the empa (East Midlands Property Alliance) framework.  The aim of empa is to improve the procurement and delivery of construction and property maintenance projects for public sector bodies – saving time and money for them and in turn for council taxpayers.
Head of empa, Alan Coole, added: “These expansion projects will benefit hundreds of school children throughout Warwickshire. The extensions have not only created new facilities and classrooms for learning but have met the needs of the community by providing much-needed school places in line with the area’s needs.

“Ashe Construction has done a fantastic job with each of the schools in Warwickshire and it is brilliant to be able to see the pupils, staff and parents  happy and enjoying their new and improved surroundings.”