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Great Cornard: Work starts on new Thomas Gainsborough School building

08:04 24 June 2014

PupilsSevrina Morrison-Rice, Sean Richardson and Grace Dove mark the start of the building work for the new Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard.

PupilsSevrina Morrison-Rice, Sean Richardson and Grace Dove mark the start of the building work for the new Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard.

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Work has started on a multi-million pound scheme to create a new four-storey secondary school building in west Suffolk.

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The current Thomas Gainsborough School complex in Great Cornard, which was built in the 1970s, will eventually be bulldozed and replaced with the new high-tech 9,124sqm teaching block.

When complete, it will accommodate, 1400 pupils – 150 more than at present.

Thomas Gainsborough, formerly known as Great Cornard Upper School, is the latest to be rebuilt under the Government’s £2.4 billion priority school building programme, which aims to replace 261 of the most run down schools across the country. Work has already started on 34, including the Cornard site.

At a turf-cutting ceremony yesterday, headteacher Wayne Lloyd said he was delighted that construction work was underway already.

He added: “We are very excited by the design of the building and believe it will provide an outstanding learning environment, not only for the current students but also to provide for the needs of learners long into the future.”

The current sprawling mass of tired grey concrete buildings will be replaced with a single energy efficient red brick building, which developer Kier Construction has described as resembling a “country house in its own parkland”. The company expects to complete the rebuild by August 2015.

Operations director, Nick Bache, said: “I am sure the new facility will allow pupils at the school to achieve their full potential and we look forward to working with all stakeholders during the construction period.”

The only current buildings that will remain on the site once the project is finished are the library and the sports hall. There will also be a new nine-a-side football pitch.

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