PUPILS at a York school have been settling into their brand new £2.7 million building which opened its doors at the start of the autumn term.

The work at Badger Hill School was funded by the Department for Education and designed and built by York firm Portakabin. It was handed over on time and on budget for the start of the new school year in September.

It includes four classrooms, a main hall, kitchen, staffroom, library, reception area, cloakrooms, toilets and offices. Portakabin also took on the refurbishment of three existing classrooms which were then seamlessly connected to the new school, a huge advantage of a modular approach to the build.

The old school building, which dates back to the 1960s, can now be demolished and replaced with a brand new playground.

Made up of 25 modules constructed at the Portakabin manufacturing facility in Huntington, each slice was driven to the site in Heslington and lowered into place over four days.

Head Vicky Whittingham, said: “Our brand new building is absolutely amazing. The joy on the children’s faces when they entered the building really said it all. The learning environment which it creates allows us to work in a bright and welcoming space.

“My favourite space in the school is the huge hall and we also have a lovely library space which can be used in a flexible way such as small group teaching, one-to-one sessions, reading groups or just relaxing.”

Nick Griffin, General Manager, Portakabin said: “We’re delighted to have been able to work in partnership with the team at the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust and Badger Hill to design a school fit for the future education of their young minds.”

The school is a founding member of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, a partnership of ten church and community schools serving more than 4,000 pupils and their families across York.

Andrew Daly, Pathfinder MAT’s executive head teacher said: “The new classrooms and facilities at Badger Hill are going to benefit pupils at the school for many years to come. I would like to thank all of those involved in the project, in particular, the staff at Badger Hill and members of Pathfinder’s central team who worked throughout the summer holidays to ensure the school would be ready to open for the start of term.”

Nathan Hughes, Project Manager, MAC Consulting, said: “It has been great to deliver this much needed improvement to education facilities in my home city of York. The project has been a great achievement with the opening of the new school on time and within budget. This has only been possible due to the use of modern methods of construction and the strength of the project team involved. The school site is restricted with both the new building and existing school still standing so the project has taken careful planning and programming to achieve the result we see today. The next phase will be equally as challenging with the careful demolition of the old school building and creation of additional green space whilst limiting disruption to the children’s learning.”

Students were equally as delighted with Year 5 pupils Ruby, Amira and Jonas commenting the classrooms were “much more spacious”, had “comfy chairs” and “more technology”.