Staff and pupils mark massive progress at new Countess Gytha school

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Work is coming on leaps and bounds to build a brand-new school for flood-hit staff and pupils at Countess Gytha in South Somerset.

Pupils held a ceremony at the new school site on Wednesday (9 December), joined by Headteacher Sue English, County Councillor Mike Lewis the local member, other Somerset County Council representatives and BAM Construction. The project has now passed its half-way point, with the superstructure of the school, its roof, waterproofing and wiring now complete.

The new school, located on West Camel Road and away from the flood zone, will be ready for classes in summer 2016. The current Countess Gytha Primary School is 140 years old and located in a flood zone, where the building and children’s work have been damaged by flood water in the past.

The new school features a modern single storey school building, which will encompass a pre-school area, play areas, sports courts and on-site bike storage. It will accommodate over 150 pupils aged two to 11.

A new pedestrian crossing will be added to the West Camel Road, benefiting the school and the local community. The car park at the new site will also be larger than the Council would usually recommend, with space for staff and visitor parking, and an on-site drop off and pick up area for parents, minibuses, coaches and deliveries.

The project is being delivered by Futures for Somerset and BAM Construction on behalf of Somerset County Council.

Headteacher Sue English said: “We are delighted with the progress and quality of the new build. Each time we visit we come away more and more excited about our move and the opportunities it presents. Members of the school council were able to attend and they are currently organising an assembly to share their part in the ‘Topping out’ Celebration and Ceremony. Many thanks to Graham Holt and his BAM Construction team for making us feel so part of the build.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, added: “It is wonderful to see how the new school is taking shape. I am sure the local children and staff members of Countess Gytha must be very excited by how well work is progressing. This is a much-needed addition to the local community and I am very much looking forward to seeing it open in the next school year.”