School unveils 'wonderful' new multi-million pound sixth form centre

The new sixth form centre at Stowupland High School

The new sixth form centre at Stowupland High School - Credit: Concertus

A new sixth form centre has been built at Stowupland High School - allowing it to create a total of 140 extra school places for students.

The new space, built with £2.4million of Community Infrastructure Levy funding from Mid Suffolk District Council and another £533,000 from Suffolk County Council, means the existing sixth form can move from the main school building.

The larger facilities, designed by Concertus and built by SEH French Ltd, not only provide 15 extra sixth form places but also mean 125 extra high school places - because space has been freed up on the main site.

It means there will now be room for 200 sixth formers and 1,050 high school pupils.

Karen Grimes, chief executive of the John Milton Academy Trust, which runs the school, described it as a "wonderful community facility".

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“With schools set to emerge from lockdown on March 8, completion of the sixth form block couldn’t have come at a better time," she said. 

The new building has a specially-designed media suite, a high performing arts studio, a common room and a food technology room.

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There is also a new parking area for seven coaches and a 57-space car park.

There will be dedicated pupil drop-off area to help reduce traffic congestion elsewhere in the village at peak times, as well as extra cycle parking.

A new footpath will also be created to encourage young people to walk to school, while the new sixth form centre will also be made available for wider community use when not being used by students.

Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council, said: “The new centre will provide 140 new much needed school places in the area and the introduction of the footpath will also allow more pupils to travel to school in a sustainable way."

David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for planning, added: “It’s great news that work on this exciting project has completed in time for pupils returning to school in early March.

"The new building is a fantastic asset for Stowupland, and I’m confident that the wider community will benefit from use of this state-of-the art facility for many years to come."

Bramford and Claydon Primary Schools have also been given CIL money - £645,593 and £499,421 respectively - for expansion works.

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