21 April 2009
West Sussex County Council & Bolnore School Group supported by WYG Management Services moves forward plans for school to be run by parent and community group.
West Sussex County Council has now given full planning permission for a new primary school in Bolnore Village, West Sussex. The 210-pupil school is the vision of The Bolnore School Group (BSG), a parent/community group specially formed to put forward a bid for the running of the new school.
In June 2008 the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People approved the BSG bid and authorised the provision of the new primary school in Bolnore. The design and consultation process on the new school then progressed and plans were submitted late last year. WYG Management Services provided project management support to ensure the cohesion of all stakeholders relating to this unique project, co-ordinating the design team and the BSG. This support was integral to ensuring that West Sussex County Council was presented with a planning submission that would secure consensus from all parties.
The new primary school will be situated on a site that was reserved for educational purposes when the village was first planned. This dedicated site is located in woodland within the heart of the village and the area that surrounds it has now been designated a Local Nature Reserve. This setting added to the design challenge to build a school that meets the needs of the children who will attend it and the community it will serve, whilst not undermining the significant ecological asset. The layout of the new school proposes two levels comprising classrooms, a library, a community room and sporting facilities including a games court and football pitch. In order to enhance the connection of students to the environment that surrounds them, the classrooms are not designed in traditional corridor format. Gaps will be introduced between the classrooms to allow visual connections between the circulation space used for breakout areas and the external environment.
West Sussex County Council said:“The Bolnore Village Primary School is a unique vision and the result of collaboration between a diverse number of stakeholders. The Bolnore Schools Group has worked in close consultation with the council and the design team to produce proposals that serve the needs of the community and remains sympathetic to history and ecology of the site. WYG Management Services played an integral role in the planning process, energising the design team and The Bolnore Schools Group into a collaborative working group whilst maintaining a strict and tight programme.”
Works are due to start on site this Summer.
Photo caption: courtesy of Re-Format.