Pupils helped to design their green new school

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school
Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school
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A NEW school which pupils helped to design has been unveiled.

St Christopher’s Primary School, at Red Lodge, will replace the 50-year-old Tuddenham Primary School and serve the 3,000 new homes around its site in Warren Road.

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school'catherine McMurtary

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school'catherine McMurtary

The school, finished ahead of schedule, will be officially handed over to Suffolk County Council at the end of July, but last Thursday staff, councillors and local people toured it.

The first pupils will move in in September, but 10 have played a part in its design.

They were shown schools and other buildings so they could form ideas. Project architect Charles Coulson said: “They in the end produced a sort of client brief. It’s the first time I’ve done it but it was beneficial because they are who the building is designed for.”

Among the things the children have chosen are the hall’s stained glass windows.

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school'lisa chambers, Graham Newman

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school'lisa chambers, Graham Newman

Mr Coulson said: “They wanted a link to its roots as a church school but didn’t want it too churchy, so that’s a modern interpretation of stained glass. It’s also a teaching tool because they can see how the coloured lights on the floor move as the sun comes round.”

The building’s carbon footprint is kept low with features like a cross laminated timber frame, high levels of insulation, a biomass boiler and classrooms sited for maximum natural daylight. It also has a passive ventilation system when warm air is drawn from classroom vents into the double height area outside then away through roof chimneys.

Headteacher Kathryn McMurtary is looking forward to moving in.

“The admin block here is the same size as the current school,” she said.

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school

Redlodge Primary school, Warren Road, Redlodge, Newmarket 'new school

The number of pupils will rise from 180 to about 250, in September but the school has space for 315 and its core facilities, like the kitchen, are designed to handle 420.

The school currently has two four-classroom blocks and when the school needs it, another four-classroom block can be added with minimum disruption to the school.