April 22, 2021 8.29 am This story is over 31 months old

£8.2m Louth special needs school refurb begins

Including a new teaching block

Work has begun on site for an £8.2 million project at a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities school in Louth, including the extension and refurbishment of the existing facility.

The project at St Bernard’s School on Wood Lane in Louth will see the creation of a new teaching block. This will allow the school to offer ‘all through, all needs’ facilities to local students.

The new teaching block will provide additional classrooms with increased PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities) support to expand the school’s offering. This includes a dedicated therapy area, main hall with combined dining and PE space, art space, new life skills and recreations spaces, staff areas and office space.

The new teaching block will provide additional classrooms.

Works will also include the creation of a dedicated hygiene suite, kitchen, dining space, laundry area and meeting room. There will also be renovated medical professional areas, increased office and break out spaces, a new library and additional car parking.

Local contractor Willmott Dixon, a privately-owned contracting and interior fit-out group, has started work on the project which is being delivered through SCAPE. SCAPE is one of the UK’s leading public sector procurement authorities.

It is the third SEND school project Willmott Dixon has done for Lincolnshire County Council as part of their £86 million SEND school programme currently being rolled out across the county.

Additional car parking will also be created as part of the project.

Nick Heath, director of operations at Willmott Dixon, said: “We’re very excited about starting onsite at another SEND school in Lincolnshire, after recently beginning construction at Eresby School in Spilsby and Willoughby School in Bourne.

“Investment in SEND schools across the region is essential to supporting local students, and we’re incredibly proud that we can be a part of providing these much-needed, life-changing facilities.

“The new build and extension have been designed to complement St Bernard’s School’s existing buildings, to maintain connectivity with the main school and ensure cohesion across the campus. It was important to encourage unity between both the buildings and students in each facility.

“A huge part of our ethos at Willmott Dixon is to leave a lasting legacy on the communities we work within. St Bernard’s School is a great example of this, enhancing its pre-existing facilities and creating new ones to better support local students and help to meet their educational, health and care requirements.”

Martin Smith, assistant director for education at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The council wants to ensure that all children can access high-quality education, as near to their family and local community as possible. To help achieve that, we’re investing £86m in improving our special schools over the next few years.

“Our ambitious programme will mean more pupils with SEND can attend a local school rather than having to travel large distances for their education, which will be of great benefit to both the children and their families.

“Despite the pandemic, we’re making excellent progress and improvements are now underway at a number of local schools. This project will greatly benefit pupils at St Bernard’s and we look forward to seeing it completed.”