Spades hit the ground for the first time at the launch of a £6m academy development, which will provide much needed school places.
A ceremony was held yesterday to mark the start of works on the Thistle Hill primary which will include a main hall, kitchen, 14 classrooms, workrooms, reception, offices and staff accommodation as well as play areas, games courts and parking.
Initially children will be taught in temporary classrooms in order to open in September but they are expected to move into the permanent building in January 2016.
The school, in Thistle Hill Way, Minster, will have a phased opening with plans to initially welcome 120 pupils, made up of two reception classes and one each in Years 1 and 2.
It will expand as the first intake progresses through to Year 6 and eventually 60 children will be taught in each year group, or 420 all together.
The extra places will allow Minster Primary to revert back to admitting 60 pupils in each year instead of the 90 it has been accommodating.
Thistle Hill will be run by Lilac Sky Academies Trust which operates another Island primary, Richmond Academy in Sheerness.
Founder Trevor Averre-Beeson, who attended the soil turning ceremony, said: “We are delighted to be opening a new school on the Island - and look forward to its outstanding future serving the young people and families of this community.
“I am also very pleased to be involved in this ceremony to celebrate the start of the development. It’s a great privilege to take part and see the project off to a fantastic start.”
Cllr Roger Gough (Con), Kent County Council (KCC) cabinet member for schools said: “I am delighted to see the building work starting here to provide a brand new school for the area. It will provide a community venue local people can use too.
“It was always planned for the expansion of Minster Primary to only be a temporary arrangement. So the new school will not only provide a new school but allow Minster to reduce back to its original size.”
Funding has been provided from the Department for Education’s Targeted Basic Need scheme and KCC’s capital programme.
The local authority is also managing the project with Galliford Try carrying out the build.