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building transformation blog

Welcome to Leasowes' Building Transformation Blog

This year between June and (hopefully!) November time, the Leasowes site will undergo some fantastic changes, including new classrooms and sites for our Nursery and Key Stage One children. Most excitingly, however, will be the makeover of the central area between the current Key Stage 1 and 2 sites... yes, that's right! Our walkway will be transformed into a true hub of the school complete with a new library to continue our work on engaging our young people in the magic of reading, amongst other impressive developments.

All developments as the project continues will be posted here, organised in reverse chronologically for your convenience. Alternatively, use the links below to jump to a date of your choice. 

19/6/19 / 26/6/19 / 12/7/19 / 5/9/19 / 12/11/19 / 4/12/19
Let the magic begin...

4th December 2019 - It's looking real!

Welcome back! As the building project nears its conclusion, the posts must get more regular in order to keep up with the speed of the changes! Last week, as our hardworking PTFA got to work transforming Key Stage 2 into a winter wonderland ahead of the Christmas Fayre, another site walk took place. This time, the walls are no longer only brick, but smooth; the electrics are in and looking great and the whole thing is slowly coming together!

Here is a look inside the new build classroom, which will be on the right hand side as you enter through what was once the walkway. The roof windows make the whole space light and airy, and we can't wait to see what it will look like when transformed into a learning space complete with furniture. This photograph is taken from the door out of the central 'hub', but there is another door along the left wall that leads into...

 

... the central space between what will be the two Year 2 classrooms. As you can see here, a new pair of doors will open out to where a new ramp will be built: when the build is complete, Year 2 will enter school from the other gate, allowing them easy access to this new cloakroom space. The door you can see on the left here leads through to the second classroom, which was previously the ICT suite.

 

And it is taking shape! A new unit has been installed at the far end with a sink and storage facilities. Previous units have been removed to create a space equal in size to the new build classroom. It won't be long before this room is utterly unrecognisable from the computing room it once was.

 


 

Back in the 'hub' - name to be confirmed - another exciting development has taken place... we now have doors to the walkway! Gone is the huge piece of wood that has separated KS1 from KS2 for these many months, and the doors are in place, ready for use once the build is complete. It is this development that gave children cause for celebration as they entered school one morning... "YES! DOORS!". It takes all sorts!

 

Turn through 180° and you will have your back to the doors and see the hub from this angle: with the double doors open, the mural is visible. The size of this area is massive and (see the next pictures) will give children masses of space to learn and enjoy a book or two once the new library is in situ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the spotlights in, windows complete and even (excitingly) parts of the protective fencing coming down, the project is suddenly feeling very close to completion! Check back soon for more updates.


12th November 2019 - Things are really taking shape now!

Hello all and welcome back to Leasowes' building transformation blog. Our last instalment was the beginning of the school year, and over this first half term the team have been working hard to transform the shell that they had built into something resembling a space that children can learn and thrive in.

Firstly, we'd like to commend Tony and his team for working in all weathers, including today when our site walk took place: Miss Reeves had a job keeping up with the builders as we toured the site, not in the least bit helped by the shoes she'd chosen to wear (and the fact it was Odd Socks Day!)

It would take more than soggy shoes to dampen our spirits as we ventured inside the building to see the progress made. From the outside, up near the main entrance to school, a sneak-peek has been available - the windows are in, the rendering has been completed on the EYFS entrance, and the scaffolding is down!

 
Heading inside, the difference is phenomenal! Over just two months, the team has transformed the inside of the soon-to-be library area into a functional space: lights are going in, roof-windows have been installed and further work is taking shape.

Here, we look left towards what will eventually be the double doors that will lead into the Key Stage One Hall. Before, this space was dark, damp and home to our Forest Schools supplies. Mrs Wood and the team are more than pleased with their new cabins elsewhere, and it looks like before we know it this space will be being utilised far better than before.

 

Here, we are looking ahead towards the playgrounds, where eventually doors will lead outside. The pictures don't remotely do the size of this space justice - next time I shall have to pinch a fancy phone with a wide-angle lens! Hopefully you can see squirrelled away in the corner the pottery mosaic created many years ago: soon, a pair of double doors will protect this from the many children who will be passing through.

Turn around and you will see three doors ahead: these will be home to several toilet facilities. The girls' (the left door) is already being tiled, while the disabled and boys' rooms are still on their way. Hidden out of site to the right of this picture is another doorway leading to the brand new Y2 classroom...

 

...and what an impressive space it is! Already, this room is the envy of the teaching staff and Mr Locke is making plans to win this room for himself upon the project's completion. The roof windows are in, together with windows all down the side (right of the picture) and this will soon be a fantastic learning space for one lucky Year 2 class. As for the other class, don't feel too bad for them, as they'll benefit from a newly-madeover ICT Suite...

The old ICT suite has had additional windows added to the back to let in light and look out towards the Key Stage Two site, and additional lights and electrics have gone in. Both rooms are an impressive size and will soon resemble classrooms! Between these two rooms - the former suite and the new build - is a vestibule that will hold a shared cloakroom and entrance. Unfortunately, it was much too dark for a decent photo today.

And finally, the entrance to Key Stage Two continues to be boarded up ahead of the big reveal in not too long a time. At present, we continue to be on track for completion before Christmas, which seems incredible, but with the progress made from last blog to this in just a couple of months, we're getting very excited here at Leasowes!

As the project draws closer to completion, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @LeasowesPrimary for additional short-burst updates, and another blog post will be published next month as the final touches are being perfected.


5th September 2019 - The summer holidays are over, but the builders never stopped!

Welcome back to the building transformation blog. The Leasowes staff have returned to work this week relaxed, refreshed and ready for a new year. Luckily for us, however, the building team haven't quite had the same summer holiday as many of us!

At the last instalment, the nursery had been torn down and concrete had arrived. The changes in just 8 weeks - I'm sure we will all agree - are utterly staggering. From the road, we can see that lots of work has been done, but nothing compares to walking the site. Before we know it, our new Y2 classrooms, EYFS entrance and 'hub of the school' will be open, furnished and ready for business. I'll dive right into the pictures now so you can see the magic for yourselves...

First up - the new Leasowes Extra updates. Inside what is currently the Reception classrooms, two interior doors now lead into a small office space (left door) and through to the new entrance (right door). The second photograph shows the entrance from the outside, which is to the left of the main school entrance. Soon, this will be rendered and practically complete. Our final picture here showcases the new cladding to the outside of this building. The new wood is striking and gives the building a new lease of life.

Now for the fun bit...

 

Around the corner from the site office, we are greeted with the new 'hub' area from the outside. Nearly at roof height, the walls have been going in and soon there will be a roof and windows. Photograph one looks towards the area where we will soon have a new Y2 space, while picture two looks towards how the new building connects to the Key Stage One hall. Already, it is a huge improvement from the walkway that it has replaced.

Next, we headed up, up, up and saw what the new building looks like as a bird's eye view.

This area - that will house moveable seating - will serve as additional learning space and our new library. The grey concrete you can see in photograph two is an addition to the existing space left by the walkway and even the photos don't really do justice to how large this room will be - nearly the size of two big classrooms. The area to the right - the ICT suite - will be repurposed into one of two new Year 2 classrooms. 

... but two classrooms are required! Located to the right of the existing suite is the new-build room. Between the two rooms will be the Y2 toilets and a disabled toilet, together with the new entrance that leads from the other side of the site. Once the scaffolding comes down, these rooms will look extra roomy and ready for our fabulous Y2s.

We hope you are as thrilled as we are at the progress the builders are making. Soon, roofs, windows, open spaces and... one day... finishing touches. Check back for more updates soon.


12th July 2019 - The land is cleared, and the concrete is coming!

Over the last week or so, major changes have been happening! The site between KS1 and the ICT Suite was cleared (taken away in the giant skip that has had the children fascinated!)... and now, work can really begin. This week, children were thrilled to be able to see right through to Porlock Avenue from the KS2 playground, and some of them continue to spend the majority of their break times watching the progress. I'm sure we will have some aspirational builders and architects as a result of this work.

Also this week, the trenches were dug for the new building's foundations. Mrs Bettany and Mr Coombs were on site to inspect one evening after school, together with Site Manager Tony...

It was staggering to see the size that the completed area will be, and staff are buzzing about all the extra space they can utilise. If you look really carefully at this photograph, you might even be able to spot Mrs Wood in her hockey kit having a look from the Y6 classrooms! Isn't she nosy?! 

After the excitement of the digging, things started moving quickly! Excitingly, a massive concrete mixer arrived on site to produce the materials needed. Y5 and 6 had a front-row seat, and Miss Reeves managed to escape the classroom for a few minutes to take some snaps! 

By Friday, builders were seen dismantling parts of the KS1 building and laying initial bricks in readiness for the next stage of the project. Keep your eyes peeled for our next instalment!


26th June 2019 - Before photos, and the demolition is underway!

Today's instalment on the building transformation blog will include the all-important 'before' photos! In a few short months, we will look back on these and find the school utterly unrecognisable! In an assembly some weeks ago, Mrs Bettany outlined the plans to the very excited children. Our Year 6s are only a little bit put out they won't attend Leasowes, but I'm sure they'll be back eventually to see the improvements. 

Having photographed the 'before', it was now time to get cracking on the transformation. The proposed changes have been presented to the community, staff and children in different ways, and below we will share one or two of the graphics created.

While the building staff have been on site preparing for the last few days - your children may have reported all of the weird and wonderful ways they are getting from KS1 to KS2 and back again for lunches - it was today that things really started happening! As the diggers moved in and demolition started, the children (and staff!) got really excited: staff were seen during lunchtime snapping their own pictures, children congregated behind the protective fencing to get a closer look, and Y1 had an impromptu trip out of the classroom to take a closer peek, as there was no way quality learning could take place until they'd observed the demolition of the Nursery!

Across just one day, the site has turned from a neat, orderly area to... well... take a look...

 

 

Clockwise from top: 1) The Nursery's demolition has begun! Miss Leonard caught this pivotal moment as the front of the building is torn away. 2) The walkway at the top of the school is pulled out - the panels are gone, and the view from the staffroom is quite the sight! 3) The view from the KS1 site towards the walkway - you can now see right through, and there is more demolition coming! 4) The giant skip which currently holds what used to be our Nursery building. 

So, as you can see, things are really underway here! Check back soon for more updates, more demolition and transformation pictures.


19th June 2019 - The containers arrive...

Today, a small yet significant event took place... the site containers have arrived at Leasowes Primary School! Staff cleared the car park, with teachers sharing lifts to school, walking or even - if you're Mr Coombs - tackling the journey by bike! Whilst seemingly insignificant, the arrival of these appropriately Leasowes-blue containers herald the beginning of our building project. Soon, the site will be full of the chatter of builders and project managers... Mrs Bettany is already itching to get her hard hat on and get to work!

Check back soon for updates including the all-important 'before' photographs and more detail of the plans to transform our school.