Work begins on school’s £3m refurbishment project

Kingfisher Special School

Work has begun on a £3m refurbishment programme at Kingfisher School in Oldham.

Based in Chadderton, the special educational needs school will benefit from an extension to the building, allowing space for a new hydrotherapy pool and two new classrooms, including facilities to accommodate children from the age of two.

Bolton-based Seddon will be leading the work as contract partner on the Procure North West Contractor Framework.

The existing building will be reconfigured to optimise available learning space and provide further opportunities for staff to tailor their specialised teaching to the unique requirements of each child.

Michael Unsworth, director of business at Kingfisher School, said: “As the only school for primary aged children in Oldham with the most complex and severe learning needs, this work is absolutely vital for us to continue supporting as many young people and their families as possible.

“The new state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool is a highlight of this work and will be particularly important to help children maintain a range of joint and muscle movement, engaging in swimming when they are unable to access a local public pool. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to see this and other new facilities when work is complete.”

Robbie Blackhurst, framework director at Procure Partnerships Framework, said: “Procure Partnerships Framework is proud to be supporting Oldham Borough Council and Seddon in delivering the new facilities at Kingfisher Special School.

“This scheme shows the absolute commitment of Oldham Borough Council to providing additional SEND (special educational needs and disability) provision within local communities.

“The learning environment Kingfisher Special School will create promises to have a lasting impact on the lives of children in Oldham and can provide the highest quality facilities for the specific needs of every pupil.”

John Shannon, regional director of property services at Seddon, said: “This is a significant project for the people of Oldham. As the local population has grown, demand for places at the school has increased nearly 50% in just over five years.

“The additional space and facilities that this refurbishment delivers will allow the exceptional team to continue offering the very best education and care to young people with additional needs in the local community, preventing them from having to travel further afield.”

The school has been fundraising for the project via its ‘Big Splash’ appeal, raising £100,000 towards the cost of the work.

The remaining funds were provided by Oldham Council, local philanthropist Sir Norman Stoller, Frank and Judith Rothwell and St James Place.

The work is expected to be completed in November 2020.

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