A £1.4m extension featuring two new classrooms at Houghton C of E Primary School, near Carlisle, was officially opened today by Cllr John Bell, Chairman of Cumbria County Council.
Cumbria County Council has funded and delivered the £1.4m project providing much needed additional teaching space at the school.
The scheme has increased the capacity of Houghton Primary School with the creation of two new classrooms as well as a new kitchen and an enlarged school hall. There are also additional withdrawal rooms for teaching, and significant planned maintenance work involving rewiring and new heating has also been carried out at the school.
The new facilities have been built to cater for an increase in pupil numbers, which will see the school roll rise from 140 to 210 over the next few years as a result of new housing developments in the school’s catchment area.
Cumbria County Council has invested £1.165m in the school extension project with a further £235,000 coming from housing developer contributions agreed as a condition of the planning permission.
Councillor Sue Sanderson, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Schools and Learning, said: “We have provided the new classrooms and extra facilities in response to increasing numbers at Houghton. These additional teaching spaces will support the children’s learning and help the school to thrive and grow over the coming years.”
Councillor David Southward, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Property, said: “As well as the new classrooms, this project has also increased the size of the school hall and created kitchen facilities which means for the first time the school can make freshly cooked meals for children on site.”
Mrs Lindsey Slater, headteacher at Houghton Primary School, said: “We are thrilled with our new extension which has almost doubled the size of the school. The skilfully designed 21st century classrooms have created an inspirational space in which children can reach their potential. The drab, awkwardly designed school hall has been transformed into a bright, multipurpose hall with state of the art kitchen facilities.
“The children were amazing throughout the building project, even when we had barely any playground and no hall for much of last year, so it is wonderful to be able to celebrate this opening with them, along with our local residents who have been so patient and understanding throughout the building work.
“Having just been ranked in the top 50 highest performing small state schools in England, we now have a school which reflects the wonderful teaching and learning which happens here.”