Work progressing on new £8.7million school as impressive steel structure appears on skyline

Headteacher Michael Arthur, Kier construction project manager Darran Snarr, contracts manager Steven Lynn, site manager Rhys Brown and Cllr Moira Smith with pupils Katie Barker, and Corey Joyce.
Headteacher Michael Arthur, Kier construction project manager Darran Snarr, contracts manager Steven Lynn, site manager Rhys Brown and Cllr Moira Smith with pupils Katie Barker, and Corey Joyce.

Pupils and staff at a South Tyneside school are excitedly watching their new school building come to life before their eyes.

Work on a replacement for the current Toner Avenue School in Hebburn is well underway, with the new school set to open in September 2019.

The steel frame of the new school is now in place, made from 182 tonnes of steelwork which was built by Sunderland-based Harry Marsh Engineers Ltd, with all steel sourced from the UK.

The next phase in the construction process is to install concrete floor slabs, walls and windows.

The new school is being built to the rear of the existing school which will be demolished once the construction is complete.

Children are continuing to use the existing school while the new facility is under construction.

Kier Group is leading on the construction of the new school which will feature a two-storey teaching block, a double height hall which will also be used for community use, playing fields, hard play areas, a multi-use games area and a secure early years garden.

Brian McQuade, managing director for Kier Construction in Scotland and the North East, said: “Working collaboratively with South Tyneside Council and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, progress continues to go well on the new Toner Avenue School.

"We are proud to be working with the local supply chain to deliver this new educational building that will offer excellent facilities to its 630 pupils.

“Throughout this project, we have and will continue to engage with the local community as we look to showcase all that the built environment has to offer.
"We’ve held regular resident meetings and distributed newsletters in the area as well as invited schoolchildren to see how their new school is progressing and we look forward to delivering this new school in Hebburn.”

The £8.7 million funding for the new school is being met by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and South Tyneside Council.

The new school will initially cater for 630 pupils between the ages of four and 11 with three classes in each year as well as a nursery, initially with 26 places

The move to incorporate an additional class in each year reflects the expected increase in pupil numbers as a result of new housing developments in Hebburn.

Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “It is wonderful to see the new school taking shape.

“We are committed to giving every child in the Borough the best start in life.

"Not only will this new school cater for the growing population of Hebburn, it will also provide an ideal learning environment where children will be able to flourish.”

Headteacher Michael Arthur, said: “The children and staff are all very excited to see the building coming to life before our eyes.

“Everyone is looking forward to moving in to the school in the new academic year and learning in a modern, first-class facility which is bound to have a positive impact on pupils’ motivation and learning.”