Work starts on new school building in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 20:05 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 20:05 15 July 2019
A state-of-the-art new building designed to help boost a special school in Ipswich is a step closer after building work got under way.
The Bridge School in Ipswich has faced several challenges in recent years, with Suffolk County Council overseeing some major changes including the removal of a headteacher and bringing in an interim executive board.
It was rated as "inadequate" by Ofsted in 2018, although inspectors said in their monitoring inspection earlier this year that the Sprites Road school was making good progress to coming out of special measures.
With primary-aged children having moved into a new purpose-built site four years ago, construction has now started on a similar building for secondary school children.
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It is hoped the site will be ready by July 2020, with demolition of the existing accommodation and landscape works to be completed during the spring and early summer 2021.
Following a groundbreaking ceremony involving students, staff and project leaders, interim deputy headteacher Tina Sharman said: "This is really exciting news for students and staff alike.
"The primary school building has been a wonderful educational setting and we are looking forward to the new building having a similar impact.
"The fact that the two buildings will also be joined together will smooth the transition between primary and secondary education."
Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children's services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, added: "The new building will provide first class facilities for students with additional needs and illustrates Suffolk's ongoing commitment to improving specialist provision for some of our most vulnerable young people."
In June, The Bridge School formally joined the Unity Schools Partnership and chief executive, Tim Coulson, said he was delighted with how the work was progressing on the new building.