An Ingleton Wood project to build a new £800,000 support centre for students with special educational needs (SEN) at St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Bedford is on target for completion.
The new building, known as the Emmaus Centre, features a calming, energy efficient design and is due to be ready when pupils return to the Tyne Crescent site in September.
Mechelle Claxton, assistant head and individual needs co-ordinator at the school, praised the “beautiful” design and said it has been a long time coming as support services have run from a temporary building since 2006.
The build has been project managed by building surveyor Ryan East. He said: “The design is highly efficient, incorporating good levels of insulation, a large roof overhang and north-light windows to promote natural light and ventilation within a very calming interior.
“It’s a highly efficient and sustainable timber frame building which has embraced offsite fabrication for speed.”
The centre includes a large teaching room, two interlinked smaller teaching rooms, a skills kitchen, several therapy and quiet rooms, manager’s office, staff room and toilet facilities.
From September, services will operate from the purpose-built building that will support students until they leave in Year 13. The temporary building is due for demolition at the end of this year’s summer term.
Ms Claxton said: “We have a beautiful building taking shape and Ryan has ensured that all work carried out has been done to our exact requirements. He has paid attention to even the smallest detail. We can’t wait until we are able to use it.”
Mechanical and electrical engineering experts from Ingleton Wood also contributed, with the firm working in partnership with Mark Ellerby of Mark Ellerby Architectural Design and construction company Richardson and Peat.
Mr Ellerby said: “We designed the centre with flexible teaching in mind. It has a large open-plan main teaching space, flexible smaller spaces, curved walls, great natural light, excellent acoustics and a calming, uncluttered environment.”
The majority of the funding has come from the Condition Improvement Fund via the Education and Skills Funding Agency, accessed via Ingleton Wood, and the remainder from Bedford Borough Council.
Work in progress on the new Emmaus Centre at St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Bedford.