A new £4m primary school has been officially opened in Derbyshire helping to give local children the best start in life.
Derbyshire County Council approved plans to build the new school in Chellaston in 2017 and provided £600,000 towards its construction.
The Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy has been designed and built by housing developer Persimmon Homes and is operated by the George Spencer Academy Trust.
The seven-classroom state-of-the-art school opened its doors to pupils on September 5 and was officially opened on Tuesday (Oct 22) in a ceremony with staff, children, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale and other representatives from the council, the Trust and the building developer.
Councillor Dale said: “This is a fantastic new school with excellent facilities for children and the wider community and we’re very pleased to have been able to provide funding toward its construction and worked in partnership to help make the plan a reality.
“A positive learning environment is important to helping children aspire and achieve their full potential and I’m confident that this school will create just that.”
The new school, in Riber Drive, Chellaston, can accommodate up to 210 pupils aged from four to 11.
It will create additional places for families moving into a new development of 450 new homes off Swarkestone Road.
• Specialist practical room and group room
• An open plan library
• Large hall for whole school gatherings, performances and sport
• Sustainable eco-friendly features including underfloor heating, a heat recovery system and
carbon dioxide monitoring
• Playground with sports markings
• Turfed playing field including an under 11-sized football pitch which will be available for community use
• Fire protection sprinkler system
Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy Principal Rachel Tunney said: “We are incredibly proud of our journey so far and grateful for the privilege of being the founders of a brand new school.
“Working in partnership with Derbyshire County Council has been such a positive experience and we are so fortunate to have such a beautiful building and wonderful facilities.
“We are looking forward to growing our school and becoming an integral part of the community.”
The school is planning to develop a sponsored tree-planting programme to plant trees in memory of people from the area and to celebrate new friendships and partnerships with the community and local businesses.
Spencer Academies Trust Chief Executive Paul West said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work in partnership with Derbyshire County Council to deliver the vision for outstanding primary education in the Chellaston community.
“Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy is part of a strong an innovative family of schools that make up Spencer Academies Trust. We are looking forward to supporting the Principal Rachel Tunney and her team as the Academy becomes fully established and firmly rooted as a centre of educational excellence in the community.”
Building work started on the new school in August 2018 and was completed on schedule in July this year.
Persimmon Homes North Midlands Sales Director Nadine O’Dowd said: “We’re delighted to see the new school is open to its first pupils.
“Regents Place is a major development for us comprising of 450 new homes and for us it’s not just about building homes but about creating an entirely new community and Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy forms an integral part of that.”
Persimmon Homes designed and built the school to Derbyshire County Council’s specification under the terms of a ‘developer contributions’ planning agreement designed to create school places for children moving into new housing developments.
As part of the agreement the county council contributed £600,000 towards the school’s construction but will reclaim this investment from agreements linked to adjacent developments.
Sally Walters, Director at Armsons, who were project managers and cost consultants for the scheme, said: “After working on the project since the original consultation process, we’re delighted to see the primary school open its doors to the children of Chellaston.
“This has been an exciting project to manage and the experienced project team have worked together to deliver a modern primary school that has been designed around the children’s needs, with large areas of outdoor space and a design chosen to maximise natural light.”
"Were delighted to see the new school is open to its first pupils."
Persimmon Homes North Midlands Sales Director Nadi
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