'Eco Friendly, High Tech and Unique' - The Story Behind Plans For Ashby's Modern New School

By Graham Hill

24th Jan 2020 | Local News

  • School is designed to fit in to the National Forest surroundings
  • Work starts in the summer and is due to take around a year to complete
  • Design was described as 'challenging' with new school built over two levels
  • Eco thinking is at the heart of new Burton Road development

Ashby's new Holywell Spring Farm primary school has been described as 'unique and high-tech' - and will be the blueprint for other similar schemes in Leicestershire.

Work on the £4.5million development in Burton Road is due to start this summer with a view to opening in September 2021.

Ashby Nub News took a look at designs for the new school at a drop-in event held at the Castle Medical Centre on Thursday.

It will be environmentally friendly; fit in with the National Forest; match the expending nature of the town; be low energy and eco aware; and complement the area around it.

Tim Hale, Leicestershire County Council, said: "It's the first total new school in Ashby for years, although the Ivanhoe has been extended on a number of occasions along with Willesley Primary.

"This reflects the expanding nature of the town. Everything will be around this area, we have the medical centre, the new care home, the pub and shop, so the school will be in a perfect location.

"Plus, it's close to the centre of Ashby.

"This has been in planning for two or three years now.

"Now everything's been brought together to get to this stage.

"There's eco thinking behind the school, there are electric car charging points and new heating systems.

"There aren't any schools in the county as high-tech as this one at the moment, but hopefully it'll be a forerunner to develop other schemes."

Julie Muddimer, of Leicestershire County Council, said that design of the school had been a challenge.

"It'll be an academy which won't be run by the local authority, they will find a sponsor.

"The school is a unique design, the architects who designed it have built two schools already for us in Leicestershire, but this site was quite difficult to work with.

"This has been really challenging in terms of the school and the playing fields - the topography of the site means it was quite challenging in terms of the levels.

"In an ideal world, a primary school site would be flat, all on one level.

"But there are steps down to the playing fields, it's all fully accessible but on two levels.

"The challenge was how to make it work, we had to work with what we had.

"But they've come up with a building that complements what's around it and fits in with the site.

"And it takes into account the National Forest setting."

Adam Collier, of school's architects Kast, added: "It's all about low energy, a healthy environment and a nice area to be in.

"It'll be naturally ventilated, the classrooms come out on to the playground and there'll be outdoor education for the children.

"It'll have great connections to the Internet. There'll be a sprinkler system and sustainable drainage.

"The classrooms are all south facing so natural light comes through. They directly feed out into the classrooms.

"There will be solar power from the roof.

"The county council wanted this sort of design with future generations in mind."

Ryan Wilkes, representing the school's builders Willmott Dixon, said: "The big thing is that at the entrance to the school, it's all open.

"It won't be looking like Fort Knox when you approach the school, it's all very appealing.

"There'll be fencing on the perimeter but this will be a friendly environment.

"We're looking to start building end of May, beginning of June, ready for September 2021. The budget for this is £4.5million and it will cater for 210 pupils."


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