Building firm starts work on £13.2m school

The sod cutting ceremony at the construction site

Henry Brothers Midlands has started work on the new £13.2m Alfreton Park Community Special School in Derbyshire.

This is the fifth project that Henry Brothers Midlands has been appointed to deliver for Derbyshire County Council at a number of school sites across the county, and the second for Alfreton Park Community Special School.

Henry Brothers Midlands managing director Ian Taylor said: “This new, replacement building for Alfreton Park Community Special School will provide a larger, purpose-built facility for pupils with special needs, including mobility issues, and we are delighted to have been selected to build this new school.

“Henry Brothers Midlands has worked with Alfreton Park Community Special School before – we delivered a hydrotherapy pool, which opened in early 2017 – and we are very pleased to be continuing our relationship both with the school and with Derbyshire County Council to help improve the education facilities within the county.

“This new school will offer modern facilities, extra space and increased car parking, and we are excited to have now started on site.”

The new single-storey building is being constructed on a site adjacent to Alfreton Park, known as Highfield Plantation. It will replace out-dated and unsuitable teaching facilities at the school’s existing site. These will be demolished once the new site is up and running.

The new school will expand the teaching and other facilities available at Alfreton Park Community Special School. Featuring 12 classrooms, six group rooms, including specialist therapy rooms and soft play areas, and a combined hall and dining area, it will have space for 100 students. The building is expected to be completed by late 2021, with the school opening early in 2022.

The Henry Brothers team building the new facility includes Maber architects and structural engineer HWA. Faithful + Gould is carrying out project management and quantity surveying roles for the client.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale, said: “I’m so pleased that work has started on what will be a fantastic new home for the school.

“The current building is just not fit for purpose but the new one will really give these students the best possible start in life.

“I’d like to thank Amber Valley Borough Council who have helped out by providing the land for the new building in return for the council giving them some land in Heanor. This is much appreciated as without this land it would have been very difficult to provide the new building.”

Alfreton Park Special School, funded by Derbyshire County Council, caters for pupils aged from two to 19 years of age, who have a range of learning difficulties from severe to profound. Around half of the students are on the autistic spectrum and the school also supports pupils with additional medical needs.

Cheryl Smart who has been headteacher at Alfreton Park Community Special School for seven years said: “The pupils and staff are really excited to see the works begin. We have all been working on the plans for some time and look forward to seeing the new school grow.

“The new building will give so many more opportunities and the space we need so desperately.”