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Ceremony marks milestone of building completion for Merstham Park

A significant milestone has been reached for our GLF partner school, Merstham Park, with a ceremony held to mark the last of the new building’s modules being installed. The final fit out and site works for the multi-million pound new school is now underway, with the brand new premises scheduled to be opened in time for the new academic year in September. The new state-of-the-art building boasts extremely high environmental credentials and will replace temporary facilities that have been in use since the school’s opening in 2018.

Andy Ward, Merstham Park's Head of School, is looking forward to moving into the new school and the brand new state of the art facilities.

He said: “Our new home will enable our students to flourish in a truly first-class educational setting through the creation of inviting and interactive learning environments."

He added: "As a community focused school and in line with our core values, we look forward to sharing our facilities with our local community”.   Among the highlights are high-quality classrooms, play space, a dance studio, and a sports’ hall. The two/three storey premises, for students aged 11-16, will be low carbon, running mainly on electricity and featuring roof-mounted solar panels. Trees will be positioned around sun boundaries to create an inviting environment and assist with cooling.

All the school accommodation, apart from a new sports hall, has been manufactured at the state of the art facilities of the principal contractor The McAvoy Group. Over the course of six weeks an expert team craned 178 modules into position, with the final module now in place.

Jon Chaloner, CEO of GLF Schools, is delighted that the new building has been built to high environmental standards, championing the DfE’s long-term commitment to low carbon schools.   He said: “it has been a pleasure to watch the build grow and develop and the highlight has been to finally tour the site and understand how it will look this summer when it’s finished.

"With its state-of-the-art facilities, this new build will create wonderful opportunities for our students at Merstham Park and our other local GLF schools, Lime Tree and Merstham Primary who will be able to share them, along with the wider community”.  

A ceremony to mark the occasion was attended by representatives from the Department for Education (DfE) - including Paul Mustow, Divisional Director for Free Schools and Capital - along with GLF Schools and The McAvoy Group. McAvoy’s Contracts Director, Martin O’Neill, said the adoption of offsite construction, as opposed to more traditional build methods, had major advantages for the DfE, school and its local community.   He said: “In this instance, by choosing an offsite solution the department was able to commit to delivering a high quality, low carbon school within a much shorter time frame than would have been the case otherwise.   “In addition, with much of the school structure being manufactured offsite, both the schools’ students who are studying in temporary accommodation and the local community will be exposed to significantly less site traffic movements and disruption. “We are delighted with the progress so far and we are looking forward to seeing the students being able to enjoy their new school having been in fully temporary accommodation for more than two years.” Ron Clarke, Chief Executive Officer at The McAvoy Group, said: “This will be an exceptional school building that will meet extremely high environmental standards. “We are honoured to have been selected by DfE to drive forward its commitment to low carbon schools within the context of this Pathfinder Project.”