New Haverhill school building will be one to ‘inspire’

Samuel Ward Academy extension
Samuel Ward Academy extension

A major new building project has been revealed for Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill.

Wates Construction has been lined up to complete the project on behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The project will see a new three-storey block built to replace the single-storey blocks A and B, which sit at the front of the building and include the current reception area.

Headteacher Mark Neild said: “This is clearly a massive improvement for the school over what we have at the moment.

“I’m super excited about it.

“It’s going to be great for the kids.

“We’ve seen the positive effect of C Block since it was built (it opened in 2011).

“We need the best quality housing for our students and they are going to give us the best quality housing for our students and that’s going to inspire them.”

Once the new block is completed and handed over to the academy to use, Wates will demolish A and B blocks and the area will be converted into a green space.

Mr Neild added: “For me, what’s important to say is that they will only start demolishing the old blocks once this (the new block) is in place. There is no kind of temporary accommodation.

“That’s a really big benefit to us as it really minimises disruption to students.”

Funding for the work is coming from the Government’s Priority School Build Programme and once done, the existing access and parking for the school will remain the same.

An ESFA spokesman said: “The new block provides a wide range of teaching accommodation, including science, DT and food rooms.

“The building will provide high standards in terms of natural daylighting, acoustic performance and the internal environment to ensure all year-round comfort.”

The new block will also house the library resource centre, which is currently in B block, the SEN resource base, specialist music and art rooms and media suites.

A planning application has been submitted and it is hoped that it will be approved in time to allow work to start on the site next March, with a provisional completion date of Easter 2019.