A new multi-million pound primary school near Derby welcomes its first pupils today.
For the first few weeks, only 30 reception pupils will attend the Tutbury Avenue school, which has cost £5.3 million to build over a nine-month period.
A 26-place nursery will then open at the end of this month, with 12 children registered to join so far. Eventually, 210 pupils, aged between four and 11, will attend the school operated by the Spencer Academy Trust.
Councillor Alex Dale, the county council’s cabinet member for young people, said: “I was delighted to be able to visit the school just before the children started.
“This was my second visit to the site, the first being when the work started just a few months ago and I am amazed how quickly it has been completed.
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“It’s a fantastic building and an incredible environment for children to learn in to give them the best start in life.
“I was very interested to hear how the school was built, with 45 pre-fabricated modules made off site. I’d like to congratulate all concerned, and Morgan Sindall Construction, for a fantastic job done in record time.”
It is Derbyshire County Council’s first modular built school, which was constructed at a specialist factory 100 miles away in Hull.
The authority said that due to a tight time-scale for construction – the school needed to be ready to open for new students in September– it opted for a prefabricated building.
A total of 45 modular blocks have been craned into place ahead of the opening.
The school covers 15,510 square feet and contains seven classrooms, a reception, nursery and a double-storey main hall.
Designed by Nottingham firm Lungfish Architects, external facilities include a soft play area, a large playing field, and a multi-use games area.
Paul West, Spencer Academies Trust chief executive, said: “Reaching the point where we can welcome the first generation of children to the Highfields Spencer site has been made possible through close collaboration with Derbyshire County Council.
“Highfields Spencer will be led by local Principal Anna Jones. Over the last few months Anna and her team have worked long hours to get everything at the school ready, and it’s great to see all of this work now coming together for local children.”