Construction work has begun on a £2m extension to Kirkleatham Hall School that will aid a growing number of students needing specialist support across Redcar and Cleveland.
The project to extend and remodel the existing site will provide an additional 12 new pupil places, removing the need for students and families to travel outside of the Borough to attend school.
Kirkleatham Hall School provides support to pupils between the ages of two and 19 who have a wide range of learning difficulties. The project has been funded by Redcar and Cleveland Council and the Department for Education.
Teesside-based contractor Tolent is underway with the first phase of work which includes a single storey extension to provide two new classrooms and associated sensory and therapy rooms.
A second phase will include a new main entrance and reception area and extension to the main hall that will double in size to provide the school with enough flexibility to ensure all student needs are catered for. Corridors around the building will also be widened where possible to accommodate wheel and power chair users.
The new bespoke sensory hall, with rebound therapy and a range of multi-sensory equipment, will ensure students who thrive in this environment will be able to access these facilities more regularly throughout the week.
Paul McLean, head teacher at Kirkleatham Hall School, said: “We are incredibly excited about this project and the positive impact this will have on existing and future learners.
"We are very proud of the offer we're able to give to our students and once this project is complete, we'll be able to provide similar opportunities and experiences for more young people with special education needs (SEN) within Redcar and Cleveland, of which there is increasing demand. Investing heavily in the infrastructure of our school means that we will not only reach more people, but also increase the quality of our offer."
Councillor Alison Barnes, cabinet member for children, said: “This has the potential to improve the lives of children, young people and their families now, and for many years to come. It is a vitally important project at a time when demand for specialist education services is increasing.
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in making this happen and, of course, everyone working so hard to improve the life chances of all our young people.”
Rick Halton, regional director for Tolent, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the school and wider project team with this project that we know will make a difference to many families in the area.
“We have an extensive portfolio of education works having delivered life changing schools, community hubs and inclusive educational spaces across the wider North East region. Creating a space to allow students to fulfil their potential is vital, and we look forward to achieving our clients’ vision for this project.”
Kayleigh Fuller, senior project manager at Identity Consult, said: “Identity Consult and the wider design team are delighted that we now have all the approvals in place to progress this scheme on to site for the construction phase of the works.
“We are looking forward to continuing our work with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, the School and Tolent to ensure the safe and successful delivery and completion of the works in time for the planned September 2022 opening for academic term start.”
Louise Dodds, Procurement Hub client relationship manager, said: “Procurement Hub are delighted to continue to support Redcar and Cleveland Council with our recent tender for an extension to Kirkleatham Hall School.
“The scheme is extremely important in meeting the specialist educational needs of children in the area. With the proposed extension including a rebound therapy hall and sound therapy classrooms amongst other alternations, these changes will massively benefit the children that attend this school.
“We are delighted that Tolent has been awarded this tender and we look forward to tracking progress over the coming months”
The scheme has been designed by Logic Architecture, Portland Consulting as civil and structural engineers and JH & Partners as mechanical and electrical engineers.