Thrill for pupils as Darwen’s newest school takes shape

students Margaret Bramham, Reece Noblet, Chelsey Turner and Abbey Almond

students Margaret Bramham, Reece Noblet, Chelsey Turner and Abbey Almond

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

IT is still very much bare walls, floorboards and construction beams, but work on Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio, the town’s newest school, is well under way.

Workmen have been on the site in Police Street for 14 weeks, with much of the work so far involving clearing the derelict existing building and adding an extension behind the former Model Lodging House.

So far, the old building is a shell while essential structural work is carried out, and steel girders have formed the shape of the new section being built on the back.

Construction bosses say the school is well on track for a timely completion.

Site manager for construction firm ISG Steve Southward said: “The first six weeks were mainly demolition of the old building.

“The old building will be handed over in September for pupils and then the new build will be done in December. There will be enough space initially to move all the children in September.”

Students are currently based at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy but will move into the renovated old section of the building in September.

The extension is due to be finished in December, although there will be room at the site for all teaching to transfer at the start of the school year.

Principal Ruth Bradbury said: “I think it is fantastic and I love the way we can see it now and see the way it is going to be. To say they have only been on site 14 weeks, the progress is amazing.

“We are planning to do weekly visits if we can with students.

“It is brilliant for the children as, although it has been great for us to have temporary accommodation at DACA, it will be great for us to have our own building.

“It is so exciting and I can’t wait to see ceilings and doors and classrooms.”

Students Reece Noblet, Margaret Bramham, Chelsey Turner and Abbey Almond were the first youngsters to get a glimpse of their new building.

Reece, 14, said: “It is a pretty good building and I can’t wait to move into it.

“Now we are sharing a school with DACA which can be distracting, so we will be better here.”

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