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School's multi million pound development

PUBLISHED: 20:45 21 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

IPSWICH School is poised to carry out more than £3 million of building work, in an ambitious scheme including a state-of-the-art biology lab, a new junior school hall and nine new classrooms.

IPSWICH School is poised to carry out more than £3 million of building work, in an ambitious scheme including a state-of-the-art biology lab, a new junior school hall and nine new classrooms.

The co-educational independent school has just celebrated its 150th anniversary at its Henley Road site and is now looking to build for the future.

"We have put in two major planning applications, one for the senior school and one for the prep school," said head Ian Galbraith.

He said they wanted to build eight new classrooms for the prep school, which has approximately 320 pupils. At present most of the classes are sited in three old Victorian houses and many are former bedrooms knocked together.

"That used to be fine when everybody was sitting in little rows at their desks – but now teachers like to walk round and we need room to put computers etc, so the rooms are not big enough," he explained.

"We also want to demolish our existing school hall for the younger pupils and build a bigger one, because at present it's barely big enough to get the pupils in. We'd love to be able to invite parents to come along to assemblies and have more room for drama and other activities."

The new classrooms will be built at the rear of the junior school site, in a scheme expected to cost approaching £3 million, and will include a purpose-built computer room. Mr Galbraith said the aim was to expand in terms of space rather than numbers.

As well as developing the prep school, there is also a plan to build a new two-storey extension in a courtyard area at the senior school, which has 680 pupils. The plan here is for a biology laboratory over an additional classroom.

Mr Galbraith said this scheme had not yet gone out to tender but was expected to cost roughly £280,000.

"We built some labs about nine years ago, but, with more demand for science, we want to extend that further. It will mean there is more room for experiments and for the equipment you have in a modern biology class – I think it's great to be able to provide these facilities."

Ipswich School is in a conservation area and Mr Galbraith said it was important to be sure that all the buildings were in keeping with the surroundings.

"Everything has to be looked at very carefully to make sure that it fits in well and we do try very hard to ensure that all our buildings are of high quality."

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www.ipswich.suffolk.sch.uk

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