New Red Lodge school reaches milestone

An artist's impression of how The Pines Primary School will look once complete
An artist's impression of how The Pines Primary School will look once complete

Construction of a new £4.9 million primary school in Red Lodge reached a major milestone on Friday.

A topping-out ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the main structure of the new Pines Primary School building, off Warren Road.

Steve Ryles, architect; Steven Palmer, site manager; Nichola Connor, primary head of group; Kerry Darby, headteacher; and Cllr Gordon Jones at the topping out ceremony at The Pines school, in Red Lodge

Steve Ryles, architect; Steven Palmer, site manager; Nichola Connor, primary head of group; Kerry Darby, headteacher; and Cllr Gordon Jones at the topping out ceremony at The Pines school, in Red Lodge

Construction company Morgan Sindall hosted the ceremony on the school roof – led by Suffolk County councillor Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills – with guests then given a tour of the site.

It is the biggest milestone since building work on the multi-million pound project started last August and means the school is on schedule to open in September.

Eventually, The Pines will cater for 210 pupils, with the initial intake being 30 reception, Year 1 and Year 2 places. Extra year groups will be added as it grows to capacity, but it has been designed to be able to expand to 420 places. Pine Cones Pre-School, for two to five-year-olds, will also open on the site.

Cllr Jones said: “We are delighted that the school building has reached this milestone well ahead of its opening in September 2018. This is an exciting development for Red Lodge, providing the much-needed school places for the area.

“It was a pleasure to witness the event and be part of something that we have been able to shape literally from the ground up.”

The school, designed by Concertus Design and Property Consultants and built by Morgan Sindall, is made up of a mix of single and two-storey inter-linked blocks.

Saul Humphrey, east region managing director of Morgan Sindall, said: “Reaching the topping out stage of any development is a major milestone and a proud moment for everyone involved. Work is progressing well on the new Pines Primary School which, once complete, will be a fantastic addition to the Red Lodge community.

“We hope the new school building will be an outstanding teaching environment that staff and pupils can be proud of, with first-class facilities to ensure children can enjoy the best start to their education journey.”

The school and pre-school will be run by the Chilford Hundred Education Trust (CHET), which already runs The Meadow Primary School in Balsham, Linton Heights Junior School and Linton Village College.