PUPILS and staff at a central Reading school will be celebrating the official opening of their new extension and refurbished building this week.
EP Collier Primary School and Nursery, in Ross Road, will see its capacity increase from 210 pupils to 420 following the construction project which started in summer 2015.
The work at EP Collier School is part of the council’s multi-million pound school expansion programme aimed at creating more than 2,500 extra primary school places across the borough.
The school has benefited from a new entrance, classroom block, library, outdoor space for children, kitchen and a refurbishment of a majority of the original school.
Work started over the summer holidays of 2015 with the demolition of ECOS House and internal work was finished during the recent summer break when major refurbishment of the original 118-year-old school building was carried out along with a full redevelopment of the playground.
EP Collier is now a two form entry school which will double the potential number of new admissions to 60.
The school is hosting an event to celebrate the grand opening of its new extension and refurbished building on Friday 30th September with children, staff, governors, representatives of Reading Borough Council and its project contractors and special guest Sir John Madejski.
EP Collier Headteacher Justine McMinn said: “We are delighted with the expansion of EP Collier and the children now have excellent learning environments across the school.
“We would like to thank the local community for their support during the expansion works. This is a project that will not only benefit our current pupils but future generations.”
Councillor Tony Jones, Reading’s Lead Member for Education, said: “I would like to congratulate all the staff and children at EP Collier for carrying on with their day to day work while this major project took place at their school.
“EP Collier occupies a very compact site in narrow streets of terraced housing which I’m sure has presented many challenges both for the builders and the school as well as, at times, for local residents.
“However, the result is a fantastic school with new classrooms, an improved outside play area and a modern interior in the original Victorian building. I hope all the pupils and teachers enjoy their fresh new look school.”
Reading Borough Council has invested £61 million creating 2,520 school places in 13 schools to cope with the huge increase in the 0-4 child population in the borough. The school expansion programme is due to be completed this autumn.