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Contractor selected to build £30m dales school

[Thursday 09 August 2007]
new richmond school
Artist impression of the new school

A state-of-the-art secondary school is a step closer to becoming reality for one Yorkshire Dales town today with the appointment of a contractor for the project.

North Yorkshire County Council has announced that it has formally appointed Shepherds Construction to build the new £30m school in Richmond - and the first artist impression of the new building has also been released.

The development will see most of the existing complex replaced with a new school and sixth form, in which education bosses are promising to combine the best teaching environment with the latest in sustainable energy provision.

County Council staff behind the project say the new school will be a national showpiece that will be held up as an example for the building of new schools in the UK.

Around £2m of funding has been set aside to make the new school environmentally sustainable through the use of wind turbines, solar panels, biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and a metallic curtain walling system. The building has been aligned to make maximum benefit of the sun for heating and natural ventilation.

Measures are also in place to make the construction process itself environmentally friendly. Much of the material from the demolition of the existing buildings will be re-used, displaced soil will be used for landscaping, and special construction methods will be used to reduce waste and new building materials will be sourced locally, wherever possible to reduce further reduce the project's carbon footprint.

Twenty per cent of the school's energy will come from renewable sources, and local authorities throughout the UK will be invited to use the school as a model for sustainability under the Department for Children, Schools and Families Single School Pathfinder Programme.

John Watson, North Yorkshire's executive member for schools, said: "This is a forward thinking school and we've appointed a forward thinking contractor to oversee the project's execution.

"This is a major project, not only for Richmond but also the wider North Yorkshire community.

"The new school will not only provide students with the very best in teaching facilities but will also open up opportunities for sports, leisure and education activities for those who live and work in the area."

  • Richmond School, which is attended by around 1,700 pupils in the 11 to 18 age group, is currently located on a split site. At its heart is a Grade Two listed building, included on the register of architecturally or historically important buildings as an early 1930s example of modernist architecture, which will be retained and refurbished as part of the scheme.
  • Builders will begin works during the summer, with completion of the new sixth form block scheduled for summer 2008 and project in its entirety scheduled for 2010.

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