The eagerly awaited extension to Victoria Dock Primary School will begin this summer following Hull City Council approval.
The extension will increase the school’s capacity from 262 to 420 pupil places, with a 26 place nursery, providing sufficient education facilities for the every growing Victoria Dock community.
Denham Kite, Head Teacher at Victoria Dock Primary School said:
“This is excellent news for the children of Hull. The number of primary school aged children over the last four to five years has grown significantly in this catchment area and the extension means that we’ll be able to cater for the increased demand.”
The £1.8m proposed extension plans, due to be finalised later this month, will include 6 new classrooms, an additional main hall, changing rooms and toilets, an enlarged and refurbished kitchen, improved outdoor play areas and a new car park. The construction will begin in the summer holidays and will be complete in time for the start of the 2015 school year.
Mr Kite continued:
“We’ve worked in partnership with the local authority and Sewell Group to come up with a scheme that will practically work for the delivery of the curriculum. These children are our future and our leaders and we need to provide them with the best possible start in life; the opportunities as a result of the extension will greatly benefit their learning and development.”
Steve McKee is a parent to three children currently attending Victoria Dock Primary School. Oliver is in Year 6 and twins Emily and Theo are in the Foundation Two class. He said:
“The school is absolutely first class; it really is an exceptional school. We really welcome the extension because it’ll help to spread the school’s success to a bigger audience. I hope that with a larger campus the ethos will continue.”
“I’ve seen some of the plans and it’s looks like this project has scale and longevity to cater for more children over the next five or ten years.”
Beth Luker Barrow, mum of Ethan (Year 4) and Jared (Foundation 2) said:
“It’s quite nerve racking as a parent wondering whether your child has a place at the local school or not, as that’s where you want them to be, so the proposed extension with more places is great news.”
The extension discussions have been ongoing due to land lease terms originally set out in contracts issued by the Council in 1997, when the school was originally proposed. Sewell Group, who was awarded the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract as a result of a successful bid 17 years ago, has been working with the Local Authority to agree the best solution.
Councillor Rosie Nicola, Portfolio Holder for Learning and Skills said:
“I am delighted that we are now in a position to meet our legal and moral duty as a Local Authority to the parents and children on Victoria Dock by taking steps to provide the extra school places that are so desperately needed.”
“Victoria Dock School has been over-subscribed for many years and with an ever-growing population it is essential that we extend the school places as soon as possible. In fact, Hull City Council is required by government to take steps to ensure that we create sufficient places at schools that are rated good or outstanding by OFSTED. Victoria Dock School is a case in point and the new extension will be up and running in September 2015.”
“I am pleased that we have reached a contractual arrangement that is allowing this work to go ahead.”
Graham Atkins, Investments Director at Sewell Group said:
“Since being appointed as Victoria Dock Primary School’s PFI partner we’ve supported the school and worked with Hull City Council to deliver three other extensions to cater for the increased pupil demand.”
“On this occasion, the Council wanted to align the PFI and land lease contracts and as a result, the fair and right solution has been developed by independent experts. We’re pleased that we can now move forward with the extension which is much needed and will be of great benefit to the children of Hull.”