Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2023
Staff and pupils at St Leonard’s Primary school in Stafford have celebrated the ‘official’ opening of their new school building.
After outgrowing their previous Victorian building, St Leonard’s has moved to the former Kingston Centre on Fairway, a five minute walk away.
The Centre—previously a school from 1939 to 1988—underwent a £4 million remodel and refurbishment over 36 weeks and was completed ready for the start of the Autumn Term.
Careful design meant the expanded school could be accommodated in the space without the need for extensions. The external space has also been remodelled and developed, with hard and soft play surfaces and a forest school.
Inside, the school now boasts modern teaching and non-teaching facilities, with the option to expand in the future to meet increased demand for pupil places from new housing developments in the area.
Added to this, the school is one of the most sustainable in the County with air source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, hybrid heating / cooling air units, and insulated thermal ceiling tiles to reduce the carbon footprint of the building.
80 trees donated by the Woodland Trust were planted by pupils in the new grounds at the start of works. Bird and bat boxes have also been installed across the site, as well as bug hotels.
Midlands-based contractor G F Tomlinson and Entrust’s architect and project manager worked with Staffordshire County Council to deliver the project.
Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education Jonathan Price said:
“With St Leonard’s outgrowing its old premises and needing to ensure there are sufficient school places in the local area to cope with housing developments, it made sense to bring the former Kingston Centre back into its original use, albeit with complete refurbishment.
“The school is now a vibrant, modern school with state-of-the-art facilities, and is one of the most sustainable in the County. The pupils and staff are incredibly happy with their new premises and I look forward to seeing the school grow over the next few years."
Headteacher Karen Roberts said:
“We're incredibly lucky to have a fantastic building with wonderful outdoor space which the children absolutely love. It's been great to see them enjoying and using their brand new surroundings.
"The move to the new building marks the beginning of an exciting journey for all our pupils, and the St Leonard's school family. I'm really looking forward to seeing how our school can evolve and grow further over the next few years."