Demolition of ageing school building in Ipswich will cause ‘mixed emotions’, says headteacher
Its famous corridors and classrooms have educated generations of Ipswich families. So when this former Thurleston High School building is finally torn down to make way for more modern alternative, it will certainly mark the end of an era.
And now Jamie Daniels, the headteacher in charge of what is today known as Ormiston Endeavour Academy, has said the change will cause "mixed emotions" - but is nonetheless important to make.
Ormiston Academies Trust, which now runs the major secondary school, is currently building a brand new £15million, 5,500sq m base next door to the current Defoe Road school.
The new site is a state-of-the-art, modern building which will last for at least 60 years, boasting 30 new classrooms including science laboratories, an ICT room, four rooms for music, art and drama and five design and technology rooms, as well as a large assembly hall.
Funding has come from the Department for Education's Priority Schools Building Programme, designed to renovate the schools which are in the worst condition and in need of urgent repair.
But despite the fact the replacement of the old school building, which opened in 1967, is seen as long overdue, Mr Daniels said: "Across the community there will be mixed emotions.
"There will be people glad to see the back of it and there will be people sad to see it go.
"The important thing is that the work we've been doing will continue.
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"The work we've been doing on what it means to be part of the Endeavour community will be continuing.
"The vision and values we hold dear to aren't going anywhere."
Every lesson is set to be taught in the new school from September 2020, with the majority of the old school set to be demolished the year after.
New outdoor facilities, such as five tennis courts, will also available to the community once they are completed.
And he believes the new open layout of the school, rather than the old, dark corridors of the past, will make life better for pupils.
"At the moment the site is very spread out but this will be much better for teachers to work collaboratively and easier for students to navigate around.
"That sense of going to a big school and you're going to get lost - you're not going to get that.
"We've got a really solid building that gives us all the facilities we're going to need to help us develop that sense of community in the school. It will allow for that real sense of community to develop."
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