Work officially begins on new college for Burgess Hill special school
Years of frustration were swept aside by excitement as staff, students, parents and governors celebrated the beginning of work to build a new college for children with special needs.
There were smiles all round at Woodlands Meed College, in Burgess Hill – not to mention the opening of a bottle of bubbly – as contractor ISG started preparatory work on Monday (November 22).
Headteacher Adam Rowland said: “We are delighted to be working with ISG to build the new college and we are all incredibly happy to see them arrive on site today.
“It’s going to take a huge team effort to build this college adjacent to the current college, yet we are excited by the opportunities that working with ISG will bring our pupils.
“We are building a fantastic college, which will support the most vulnerable pupils in our community for many, many years to come.”
It has been more than a decade since Woodlands Meed was told a new college would be built – and nine years since that promise fell through.
Initial work on the site, in Birchwood Grove Road, is not scheduled to start until later in December, with construction of the new building expected to be carried out between February 2022 and March 2023.
Fingers are crossed that the final handover will take place on November 15 2023.
The school will cater for 100 children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Nigel Jupp, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for learning and skills, said: “Everybody at the county council is extremely pleased to see the work to rebuild the college now officially begin. This is an extremely exciting moment for everyone connected with Woodlands Meed and I thank parents, pupils, governors and staff for their patience as outstanding matters were being resolved.
“ISG has been chosen to build the new facilities because of their extensive experience and expertise in creating high quality special schools. We are very happy to be working with them and are all eager to see the new college take shape.”
To find out more about the new build and to receive regular updates, log on to buildingwoodlandsmeed.com