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Blaze-damaged classrooms at Lytchett Minster School get new roof
2:00pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
THE roof has been lifted into place on an enormous building, marking a milestone in getting a disaster-struck school back to normal.
Lytchett Minster School’s creative arts centre, destroyed in a fire before Christmas, is being replaced with a temporary building, which last saw service crammed with athletes, as one-sixth of a dining area at the Olympic village.
The size of a football field, the building was supplied by temporary structure specialists De Boer, whose 70-strong crew slowly raised the roof with cranes on the lawn of the school.
By mid-March it should be completely built and fitted out with a 420-seated theatre with stage and lighting gallery, two drama classrooms, five art classrooms, three music classrooms and a recording studio, photography classroom and studio, office, toilets and kitchen.
“Six weeks to get an enormous and complex structure like this here is good going,” said Toni Coombs, Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services.
She said it was being paid for by insurance and the council would be covering the excess from its own insurance fund. The eventual rebuild will be around £10million and insurers Zurich and loss adjusters McLarens have helped provide the 3,300 sq m building.
Cllr Fred Drane, county and district councillor for Lytchett, said he was very pleased to see the building going up, following the devastating lightning strike that gutted the creative arts block.
“The head was worried that he would have to hold parents evening in two parts because there was not enough room but with this structure he will be able to do it all in one evening,” he said.
Head teacher Stuart Clark said: “It’s going to be an outstanding and unusual building.” He said that demolition of part of the damaged building started last Saturday. With the lack of space, each year group has had to spend a day a week working at home.
“As soon as this building is ready, everybody will come back. We are extremely grateful to all who have worked with us to make this possible.”
Sixth former Ellen Brodigan, 16, was one of many pupils who lost work in the fire, her photographic course work.
“It’s really sad we have lost a part of the school,” she said.
“The teachers have been supportive and it is exciting to have a building from the Olympics.”