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New school building underway at Priory Fields, Dover, by construction firm Portakabin

By Beth Robson

A primary school is looking forward to a major new £7.5 million rebuild.

And children at Priory Fields in Dover got the chance to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony last Wednesday.

The two-storey modular structure will replace the current building at Astor Avenue and provide new hard play and nature areas for students.

Priory Fields Primary School in Dover will have a new building.

Priory Fields Primary School in Dover will have a new building.

Ground works are set to start next month with manufacturing of the new school beginning in February 2018 at the Portakabin centre in York.

Pupils, staff and parents at the school have been waiting almost four years for a solution to its complex, hill-side site.

Modular company Portakabin has been appointed by the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) to engineer and design a purpose built, two-form entry school, to replace the present multi-level building.

Priory Fields primary school, Dover, building project. Helen Seeley, head of school

Priory Fields primary school, Dover, building project. Helen Seeley, head of school

Up to 16,000m³ of chalk will
be dug to house the new building.

As well as general classrooms and office space, there will also be a double height, multi-purpose modular hall, the latest in innovative building design from Portakabin

The 44 modules will be craned in, beginning at Easter with handover of the building due next September.

Andrew Simpkin, dead of project delivery for Portakabin, the firm building a new school at Priory Fields primary

Andrew Simpkin, dead of project delivery for Portakabin, the firm building a new school at Priory Fields primary

Andrew Simpkin, head of project delivery at Portakabin said: “We’re delighted to be able to help Priory Fields realise the school they have always wanted.

“We’re working closely with the school and the local community to ensure we get the most opportunity out of this challenging site and our permanent solution will be delivered within the next year.”

Anne Siggins, executive head teacher, said: “It has been a long wait but we know that it will have been worth it when we move in next September.

“The children are very excited with the whole project and are enjoying seeing the bulldozers and lorries arrive at the site.”

The rebuild is part of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme which is rebuilding or refurbishing those school buildings in the very worst condition across the country.

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