Primary school expansion opens creating hundreds of school places

STANWAY: More than 300 new school places have been created at a local primary school following the opening of a new £4.2 million expansion block. 

Facilities at the brand-new school expansion, named ‘Wheatfield block’, include a two-story teaching building and a new school hall.

Building work by Barnes Construction was completed a week earlier than scheduled, bringing nine new classrooms along with space for 315 extra primary school places into use at the Winstree Road school.

Lisa Finch, Headteacher at Stanway Fiveways Primary School said: “The expansion project and opening of the new Wheatfield Block represents an exciting moment for Stanway Fiveways Primary.

“The school community, especially our pupils, have loved watching the building project develop over the last year.

“We believe that it is really important that local children can go to their local school and we are pleased to be able to offer more places to Stanway children through this expansion project.”

The expansion project also features a new studio hall and food-technology room. External play areas and a multi-purpose games area have also been created.

Supporting increased growth

Cllr. Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s (ECC) Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, attended the ceremony and said: “I am delighted to have officially opened Stanway Fiveways Primary School today and to have had the opportunity to see pupils enjoying their new surroundings.

“School projects like this are vital to support areas of increased growth, like we’re seeing in Colchester.

“We are continuing to invest heavily in the expansion of existing schools, as well as the construction of brand-new sites, to meet the demand for school places in the town now and in the future.”

Celebrating the opening of the Wheatfield Block, children were shown a personal video message from Olly Murs and Team GB men’s and women’s hockey teams.

In his message, Olly “congratulated the school on the expansion” and reminded the children to “remain focused, work hard, to have fun and to enjoy school.”

Giselle Ansley and Ollie Willars both from Team GB hockey teams, congratulated the school on the opening of the brand new multi-use games area (MUGA) and encouraged the children to “remain active and continue to enjoy physical activity in school.”

Time-capsule buried at Fiveways Primary School by pupils. Picture by Paul Nixon Photography

Pupils at the school also prepared a time-capsule which was buried during the opening ceremony.

It is hoped the increased capacity of the Fiveways school, now standing at 630, will help meet the increasing demand for primary school places in the area.

The expansion block at Stanway Fiveways is part of ECC’s £30 million investment in primary school projects across Colchester since 2014 and have included two new schools – Braiswick Primary School and Camulos Academy – as well as several school expansion projects.

Earlier this year, Stanway Primary School on Chapel Road opened their £4.4 million expansion block, increasing the school’s pupil capacity from 280 to 420.

Main picture: Paul Nixon Photography.