Pupils' delight as new school begins to take shape
There were audible gasps of excitement as Cranfield Church of England Academy pupils got a first glimpse of their new school site.
A second campus is being created in the village, off Flitt Leys Close. And while the skeleton of the new school building is already in place, yesterday (25 February) marked the official start of work with a ground-breaking ceremony taking place.
Central Bedfordshire Council Chairman Councillor David Bowater joined pupils Keeley Botha, eight, and Joshua Stonnell, nine, to dig a ceremonial shovel of earth at the ceremony.
Keeley and Joshua both read prayers while Cllr Bowater and Cllr Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Education and Skills, gave speeches at the ceremony.
They were joined by pupils and staff from the school, representatives from the council including ward members Cllr Ken Matthews and Cllr Robert Morris and members of the local community.
The project is due for completion in time for the 2016/17 academic year and the school will ultimately be able to offer an additional 150 places, taking its capacity to 450 pupils. There will also be additional provision for 45 nursery-aged children at the new campus.
Cllr Versallion said: “I was delighted to be able to attend the ground-breaking to officially mark work starting on this long-awaited expansion scheme.
“Schools – like a churches – are at the heart of any community and as a parent myself, I know that when it is completed this new campus will have a huge impact here.
“Cranfield is a very popular place to live and the new school building will help to meet the needs of the families moving into homes being built here.”
Joanna Farbon, headteacher of Cranfield CofE Academy, said: “We are delighted to have been asked to support the expansion of education in Cranfield and are very much looking to making our new school site part of the Cranfield Church of England Academy family.”
The project is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to provide 6,500 new school places over a five-year period to 2017.
For more information, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/school-places