January opening date for new Winterbourne primary school building

PARENTS of children attending a Winterbourne school have been told their brand new building should be ready to move in to next January.

South Gloucestershire Council is spending £11 million on the project to replace all of the existing Elm Park Primary School buildings in Nicholls Lane with modern low-energy buildings which are being built on what was previously the staff car park.

The original intention was for the new school buildings to open at the start of the academic year in September.

However as the start of term approached the council told the Voice the new building would not be ready in time and it was not possible to give a date for them to open.

The council has now told parents and carers that it now expects the school to be ready by the start of the spring term.

A letter sent via the school said: “Construction is almost complete, but due to issues beyond our control, we need to advise you of changes to the completion date.

“The original intention was to welcome children into the new building at the start of the new academic year, but you will recall from previous correspondence that the opening was delayed.  

“Unfortunately, there has been a further delay and we now expect children to move into their new school at the start of the January school term, 2024.

“Works to complete the car parking and landscaping will continue after occupation.

“Every effort is being made by all parties involved to minimize the delay and complete the school as soon as possible.

“School staff and council officers are being kept informed as we progress towards completion.”

The council’s letter said it hoped to be in a position to confirm “specific moving dates” by October 20, when the half-term holidays begin.

The move will involve “a short period of closure”, the letter said.

Inside the new primary school building. Picture: Elm Park Primary School

Head teacher Carol Bond said staff and pupils remained excited by the project and were preparing an event to say goodbye to the current building.

She said: “Although our move in date has been slightly delayed, we still continue to be very excited to see how the building has changed. 

“As I write this, wooden cladding is being added to the external walls, which looks truly beautiful.

“Whilst we are really excited to move into our new home, it is mixed with sadness at leaving behind our current building. 

“Anyone that has been to Elm Park has special memories about the building, memories of teachers and friends from days gone by. 

“As a school, we are really keen to welcome former families to come along and say goodbye to our lovely building. 

“Further information about dates and times for this event will be supplied later in the year.”

Mrs Bond said school life continued regardless of the delay, with new Reception children settling in with support from ‘buddies’ in Year 6, who were themselves looking forward to a residential camp in October.

School trips to destinations including Bath Literature Festival and a smallholding are also planned.

The school is organising tours of its existing building for prospective parents, as well as organising open mornings on October 10 and November 23. For more details call 01454 866750 or email elmparkprimary@sgmail.org.uk.

Top picture: Elm Park Primary School under construction