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Primary school set to move into new school building on schedule

Published on 16 September 2011

Telford & Wrekin Council has announced that Woodlands Primary School should be able to move into the new Abraham Darby Sports and Learning Community as planned at the start of the spring term.

However, although work on construction of the new Abraham Darby Academy part of the building will start again on September 26, the Academy itself will not be able to move in to the new building as scheduled in January.

It is now anticipated that the Academy will make its move from the existing building to the new one later in 2012.

The announcements follow the unexpected collapse of the canopy at the front of the new Academy building last month, which has resulted in a rescheduling of the timetable for the move into the Sports and Learning Community buildings.

Telford & Wrekin Council's technical advisers Mott MacDonald are currently carrying out an investigation on behalf of the council into the cause of the collapse. This is alongside the official investigation being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive.

The new Abraham Darby Sports and Learning Community was nearing completion when the incident happened. However, the primary school section of the building was unaffected by it and will be completed on schedule as planned subject to the successful completion of safety checks.

Contractors Kier Moss have worked on a solution that will enable primary school children safe access to their new school without being affected by the remaining work that needs to be done to complete the Academy part of the development.

Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "What happened was a bit of a shock at the time but we are pleased that we have been able to make a firm decision that Woodlands Primary School should be able to move into the new building as planned in January.

"It is disappointing that the Academy's move will be delayed but in the circumstances it is unavoidable as the delay means that the building will not be finished on time. A definite date for the Academy's move will be identified as soon possible but this is a process that will not be rushed.

Steve Hawke, Principal at Abraham Darby Academy , said: "It was important that we were able to make an early decision so that parents can plan ahead for the Christmas holiday period and I have written to them with the revised holiday dates.

"In an ideal world, we would have moved in January as originally intended but some things just can't be planned for. The wonderful facilities afforded by our new building will be well worth waiting just a little longer for."

John Demmerling, head teacher of Woodlands Primary School , said: "The primary phase of the new building hasn't been affected by what's happened and so my staff and pupils are really looking forward to moving in January as planned.

"We always felt it was important that the new building was in use as soon as possible and I am delighted that we have been able to reach a solution that will enable us to move in safely."


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