Delay for new school opening

Jesmond Gardens Primary School
Jesmond Gardens Primary School

HUNDREDS of children are set for an extended summer holiday after the opening of their new school was delayed.

Jesmond Gardens Primary School, in Hartlepool, will now open on September 12 – four days later than originally planned – because the site is not ready.

The £7m school has replaced the former Jesmond Road Primary School, in Percy Street, which closed its doors in July.

Surgo Construction is building the new single-storey site, which has been designed by ADP architects, and it will accommodate 315 pupils.

School staff have written to all parents to inform them of the delay and to invite them to have a look round the new building, which is in Jesmond Gardens.

Headteacher Jane Loomes said: “Building and fitting out a new state-of-the-art £7m primary school is a major undertaking and involves a massive amount of work. Although everyone involved has done their very best to have the school ready on time, unfortunately the schedule has slipped slightly and we have had to delay the opening by just a few days.

“The school will now open to all children on Monday, September 12 – there will be no staggered start for pupils in different age groups as had been originally intended.

“We have written to all parents to advise them of the slight delay and to apologise for any inconvenience which this might cause and to thank them in advance for their understanding.

“We can guarantee that their new school will be well worth the few days extra wait.

“It’s a fantastic building incorporating revolutionary design and the very latest electronic teaching equipment and furnishings and will create a fabulous and stimulating learning environment for their children.

“We have invited parents to join us for special guided tours of the new school on the Friday evening and Saturday morning before it opens and we hope as many of them as possible will come along and share our excitement.”

School staff say that on average the delay has affected three school days for the youngsters.

It was originally planned to have a staggered start to allow children time to adapt to the new surroundings with reception classes and Years 2, 4 and 6 returning to school on Tuesday, September 6.

Reception classes and Years 1, 3 and 5 were then due to go in on Wednesday 7, while the other year groups stayed at home.

All children were then due to be back at school on Thursday, September 8.

The new school, which will have teaching spaces that can cater for large and small groups, has been funded by the Government’s Primary Capital Programme (PCP).

It will feature acoustic curtains to create a range of different-sized teaching areas, plus a bistro-style cafe.