On Thursday 20th September, teachers, parents and pupils from St Lawrence C of E (Aided) Junior School, came together with the Bishop of Guildford, Rt Reverend Andrew Watson and the Mayor of Embridge, Coun Shewta Kapadia, to celebrate the opening of a new purpose-built school building.
As part of its vision for delivering high quality school buildings for its Church schools, the Diocese of Guildford secured funding for the new building from Department for Education’s Priority School Building Programme.
The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson attended the special event to mark the official opening of the new school building by the Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Shweta Kapadia. The Mayor talked about how the new school benefits the local community, describing it as a modern state-of-the-art facility for the whole community to use.
Director of Education, for the Diocese of Guildford, Alex Tear, said:
“We are delighted that Bishop Andrew was able to come and officially open the new school building. The diocese is committed to supporting our Church schools by improving the learning environments for the children and the facilities at St Lawrence are a great example of what can be achieved working closely with the Department of Education and other partners.”
Pupils at St Lawrence are very pleased with their new surroundings, especially those children who spent last year watching and waiting while the new building rose in front of them and then, after the move, watching their old school being demolished. The land used by the former school building has been transformed into a fantastic multi-use games areas (MUGA) to enhance the school’s sporting facilities which are now used by both the school and the local community.
Headteacher, Damian Tucker said:
“We are so fortunate to have had a completely new school built last year. The children now enjoy coming into this fantastic, clean, bright and attractive state-of-the-art building. We have created a great learning environment for the children and a pleasing place to work for the staff. New kitchens, toilets, classrooms, sport facilities and playground all make this learning experience a great one.”
The occasion marked the end of a seven-year project, from securing the funds from the Priority Schools Building Programme in 2011, to liaising with the contractor, finalising the design, getting planning agreed, starting and overseeing the build , moving in and adding all the finishing touches.