The first phase of a £10 million new build at Hartsdown Academy in Margate has been completed – and the school is now sharing photos of the site.
The modern, state-of-the-art building comprises of three storeys, featuring spacious classrooms, computer suites, food technology kitchens, a new cafeteria and a new library.
Work began in September 2018 after a small delay caused by the discovery of crested newts at the site.
The school is removing five of its teaching blocks to create the new school building and sports hall extension.
The first phase was the demolition of the dining, library and humanities blocks. This is now the site of the main build teaching block.
The second phase involves the demolition of the music block and one storey buildings at the rear to create a Sports Hall block with new changing rooms, an activity studio, music rooms and a classroom providing additional teaching support.
This part of the scheme is expected to be completed by around September.
A bid for funding for the third phase has been submitted. This will enable work to refurbish the current main block and increase it in size.
Head teacher Matthew Tate said: “We are overjoyed that the first phase of our new buildings are finally completed. It is long overdue, and it has been a hard-fought campaign to secure the funding for this magnificent new block.
“The architects and designers have created something truly breathtaking, and we are excited for the time that we can welcome our pupils, parents and local community in to see it for themselves.”
“This next phase of our new buildings are already currently underway, with music practice rooms, performing arts spaces and sports changing facilities being added to our site over the next year.
“It will be a fantastic boost for our staff and students when they return to us full-time, and is a reflection of how far Hartsdown has come in these last few years.”
Hartsdown Academy had originally been earmarked in the Building Schools for the Future programme which began its first phase in 2005. But when the programme was scrapped and replaced with a new scheme in 2012 Hartsdown was not included on the list of schools to benefit from a rebuild despite the buildings poor condition.
Finally, in May 2015, the Minster of State for Schools announced the Government would fund a further £2billion school building programme. Some 277 schools, including Hartsdown, were selected.
The demolition – Photos John and Jamie Horton
The 960 pupil school new build is not intended to mean an increase in the student roll.
Future ambitions for Hartsdown include the opening of a specialist unit for ASD students and the aim to become an all-through primary/secondary school serving children aged 4 – 19, similar to the St George’s site in Broadstairs.
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