A £4.4m expansion project is nearing completion at Addington Special Education Needs (SEN) School in Reading, which will boost the school’s capacity to more than 250 children.
The scheme, designed by HLM Architects, features a new single-storey block, which is due to open to students in September and includes four classrooms for vocational use by pupils, a café, and social/breakout, as well as new landscaping. The building is situated on former games court and a parking area, which has been relocated to another part of the site.
A part of the project was to extend the car park and drop off area to accommodate the additional staff at the school; an evergreen planted landscape design was implemented to provide a privacy screen all year round.
Last year, as part of the first phase, Wokingham borough school officially opened two multi-use game areas, a sensory path, and the expanded car park. HLM worked with all local stakeholders to ensure that the neighbouring popular public open space, which is protected as a Site of Urban Landscape Value (SULV), was not affected by the school’s expansion.
Addington School is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ Special School for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The expansion comes after Wokingham Borough estimated about 130 local children needing a special school place are educated outside the borough.
HLM worked closely with modular construction specialists Reds10, which meant that 60-70% of the work was constructed offsite to reduce disruption to the school and its pupils, as well as providing high-quality building works.
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted to see the Addington School expansion nearing completion and us opening its doors over the next few months. We’re determined to provide fantastic educational facilities for our SEND young people and with 50 places soon to be opened at the Ofsted-rated outstanding Addington, and more on the way at the new school in Winnersh, we’re providing the space to do this.”
Sara Attra, Headteacher at Addington School, said: “Everyone at Addington School is excited to see the finishing touches being put to our new building. The building will perfectly fit the needs of our sixth form students and staff as well as allowing us to provide an outstanding education to even more young people in Wokingham borough. Our sixth form students can’t wait to use the excellent facilities in their new home and we are all looking forward to the day when we can cut the ribbon and officially open the building in the new school year.”
Michael Ruddick, Commercial Director at Reds10, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working in collaboration with our partners HLM, Wokingham Council and Addington School to deliver their new sixth form building. The Reds10 team are proud of the building we have delivered. While pushing the boundaries of off-site construction and providing a truly visually amazing educational space, we were able to significantly reduce the overall programme for delivery and achieve sustainable, enhanced carbon reduction features. All without compromising on the comfort of the building.”
Claire Wakelin, Studio Director at HLM Architects, added: “This expansion means that more local children are able to take advantage of the great educational offerings at Addington School without having to travel far from their homes. The team worked hard to create a safe and nurturing environment that both inspires and brings a sense of place, helping future pupils achieve their best potential. Working with our partners at Reds10 also meant we were able to optimise sustainability across the construction phase. Our commitment to using the most eco-friendly materials throughout also helps ensure site longevity with minimal environmental impact.”