Work on a new £8 million special school in Coventry is set to begin later this summer after being given the green light.
Coventry City Council has appointed city-based architects and planners IDP Group to design the new multi-million pound development which will see Tiverton Primary School, in Coundon, relocated to the Whitley Abbey Primary School site.
The new 25,000 sq ft development will not only include the new Tiverton SEN Broad Spectrum School, but also a 26 place nursery.
Tiverton Primary School currently provides 42 places for children aged three to 11 who have severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Although the current school is structurally sound, it is ageing and no longer offers the right environment for the learning it delivers.
The new, modern school will cater for more than double the number of children who have a broad range of special educational needs, with up to 88 places available.
It will be predominantly single storey and will also include a swimming pool.
Both the Whitley and Tiverton primary schools will have pupils of the same age and there will be the opportunity to combine learning and co-ordinate activities to further enrich the curriculum.
Design work has now begun and Farrans Construction has been appointed to build the school. Construction work is due to begin during the summer holidays, and the school is expected to open in September 2017.
IDP Group Director James Hinde said: “We are very much a national firm and work right across the UK, but we have our roots very much in Coventry so it is really pleasing to be involved with such a worthwhile development in our home city.
“The scheme’s design will create a parkland setting for the new school building that will harmonise with the surrounding landscape and complement the existing primary school and grounds.
“We are looking forward to working with Coventry City Council to move ahead with the development and continuing to build on our successful working relationship with the council following the completion of the new £4.5million Edgewick Community Primary School, on the Foleshill Road.”
IDP, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is based in Spon Street and employs more than 70 professionals in design, planning, project managing and landscaping. It has offices in Coventry, London and Manchester.
Coventry City Council is due to make a decision about the future of Tiverton Primary School’s Coundon site once the new school has been completed.
Cllr David Kershaw, Cabinet Member Education said: “I’m delighted that we have awarded the contract to design the new school to a Coventry company. It’s important that our children have the opportunity to learn in an environment that helps them reach their full potential.
“The site in Whitley is a great site and there is a real opportunity to create a fantastic new facility for students age three to 11.”
This development will be the third school to be built as part of the City Council’s long term strategy to provide purpose built educational facilities for children and young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) within Coventry.
To date two such schools have been established – Castlewood Primary and Riverbank Secondary (formerly Alice Stevens).
The new Tiverton Primary School is to be located next to Whitley Abbey Primary School and joint working between the two schools is already underway.
Both governing bodies and head teachers are very excited about the opportunities this will bring to learning in Coventry, and establishing a new home within the community of Whitley.