A new start for school that’ll be a national first

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Work has started on a new £2.2m primary school in Rugby - and it’s the first of its kind in the country.

The first turf has been dug to mark the official start of construction of Oakfield Primary School’s new building.

The school is the first in the UK to be built using a new standardised system that uses ‘off-the-shelf’ designs to reduce costs and construction time.

Construction firm Willmott Dixon and Scape, which is owned by various councils, launched the system, called Sunesis, last year.

Warwickshire County Council is the first local authority to commission Willmott Dixon and Scape to build a new school using Sunesis. The new building will be constructed using the Keynes model from the Sunesis standardised range and will replace the school’s existing 1950s buildings, which the school has outgrown due to increased demand for places.

The building is scheduled to be completed in time for the new school year in September.

Cllr David Wright (Con, Bilton), the chairman of the school’s governors, said: “Sunesis has enabled us to reduce fees so we could afford to build a new structure, rather than a small extension on the existing building.”

Heather Fielding, headteacher at the Oakfield Road school, said: “Due to rising numbers of pupils, we need more space - and this is the ideal solution.”

The new building will enable the school to increase pupil numbers from 191 to 290.

The Design Council has endorsed the Keynes model. The Government body, which promotes design and architecture for the public good, said it was a “valuable response to the challenges of delivering new schools.”