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Oak Meadow re-build progresses

Pupils at Oak Meadow Primary are getting the first glimpses of their new £7m school building.

Pupils at Oak Meadow Primary are getting the first glimpses of their new £7m school building.

Work on the Wednesfield school’s new accommodation began in September and is progressing well, with the building’s timber frame and roof now in place and the external doors and windows currently being installed.

The development of Oak Meadow’s state-of-the-art accommodation is being carried out by Midlands-based Thomas Vale Construction as part of Wolverhampton City Council’s £16.6m Primary Capital Programme, which is transforming education for primary age pupils by giving them learning environments fit for the 21st century.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: “I am delighted that work is progressing well at Oak Meadow Primary School. The new school will transform the way that learning is delivered and will provide environments that engage and inspire young children, their teachers and the wider community.

“Thomas Vale Construction worked with our architects, Architype, on the award-winning St Luke’s Primary School in Blakenhall, and I hope that they will be able to create another award-winning school for the young people in Wednesfield.”

Oak Meadow Primary School headteacher Sara Morris added: “It is exciting to see all our work throughout the design process now becoming a reality. We are delighted with the progress already made on the school and are looking forward to seeing the internal areas taking shape over the coming months.”

“In order to commemorate our existing school building, we will be hosting a Celebration Day on Wednesday July 6, 2011. There will be singing, dancing, sport, refreshments, raffles and stalls. All former pupils, staff and governors are invited to come along and join in the celebrations and see Oak Meadow in all its glory.”

The new building will be able to accommodate 420 pupils and is one of the first schools in the country to be built to ‘Passivhaus’ standards, meaning it has been designed to use up to 90% less energy for heating and cooling than standard buildings.

The whole building will be wrapped in several layers of insulation and made extremely airtight, meaning any heat put into the building cannot escape easily. Large windows, made of highly insulating triple-glazed glass, allow the heat from the sun into the building, while heat from cooking, lighting and computers and the body heat of pupils and teachers is captured to replenish any minor heat loss.

Windows can be opened in the summer to allow excess heat to escape and fresh air to come into the building, while in the winter, warm stale air is extracted through a heat exchange unit bringing fresh air in from outside, heating it up as it passes.

The school will also benefit from state-of-the-art ICT facilities, with digital displays in the entrance and learning areas enabling pupils to share their recent school activities.

The new school hall has been designed so that it can be transformed into a performance area with state-of-the-art sound and lighting facilities, while the school is also planning to launch its own radio station to enable parents to tune in to hear about pupil activities.

The new building is being constructed alongside the existing school to minimise any disruption. Once the external doors and windows have been installed in the frame of the building, work will commence fitting out the internal areas of the school.

Oak Meadow’s new building is expected to open to pupils this autumn, at which point the old building, which was erected in the 1960s, will be demolished and the land re-developed as playing fields.

To find out more about Wolverhampton’s Primary Capital Programme, please visit www.wolverhamptonbsf.org.uk.

To see a picture of staff and pupils inspecting the work on their new school, please visit www.twitter.com/wolvescouncil or click here.

Source: Wolverhampton City Council

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