DEMOLITION work begins this week as the £6m plan to transform Queen’s Manor gets into full swing.
The existing single storey Special Educational Needs block at the rear of the school will be taken down following the successful transfer of pupils to the main building.
Contractors ARJ will then begin the construction of the new enlarged state-of-the-art SEN pavilion and the council’s Disability Resource Centre towards the end of May.
Pupils are to lay a time capsule in the grounds on June 17th, leaving a record for future generations of QM pupils.
If building goes to schedule, it is hoped that the SEN pavilion, pictured above, and multi-use games area pitch will be available for use in January 2018. At that point landscaping will begin in the front playground.
A formal opening ceremony for the SEN pavilion and DRC is planned for March 2018.
Approval for the development was granted at the council’s Planning and Development Control Committee in March.
The new centre will be run by H&F Council’s Disabled Children’s Service and will be open seven days a week, including evenings and weekends. It will be designed as a hub for all children and young people with disabilities – a space for children and young people to safely play, as well as a key support for parents in need of information and advice.
Plans include specialist provision for under-fives, play areas with accessible equipment, after-school clubs, health services and other support, training and meeting rooms and space for a wide range of activities.
Queen’s Manor Primary School’s own support unit for pupils with special educational needs will be rebuilt and landscaping will be carried out around the school as part of the project.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for all children at Queen’s Manor and for disabled children and their families across the borough,” said headteacher Sonja Harrison.
“It will significantly improve the offer to all Queen’s Manor children now and in the future, and give a huge boost to H&F children with disabilities and their families.”
“We want disabled children and young people to have the best possible start in life and their families to have more support,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
“We worked with residents to design this centre with those goals in mind. In the current financial climate it was not easy to find such a large amount of money. But through tough negotiations with developers and cutting waste in the council we have been able to make this important investment.”
The approval also sees the repair and refurbishment of the existing listed boundary wall, including a new vehicular access gate for parking, as well as new landscaping and improvements to the school grounds.