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UPDATED: Students return to Buckholme Towers after devastating blaze
THE transformation of a Poole school that was devastated by fire last March has been hailed as “nothing short of a miracle” by its head teacher.
Buckholme Towers opens its doors to 120 pupils for the start of the new academic year on Wednesday after months of repair, rebuilding and refurbishment costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Head teacher Iain Robertson paid tribute to project manager Adam Elcock and Dean Hoyland, managing director of building firm Jaytrack Ltd.
“Dean was the only one who said it could be done by September 4. He’s had a fantastic team working around him and they haven’t stopped,” he said.
“The last six months have been a blur. Overseeing it has consumed me night and day. I’m not the sort of person who likes to promise something he can’t deliver, but I’ve had complete faith in Dean and Adam from day one.”
Mr Hoyland, whose daughter attended the school in 1994, said: “When I said we’d have it done by September 4 I didn’t know the whole ground floor had to come out. Every lintel in every door and window had to be changed to comply with new building regulations. It took two months to rip everything out and put it all together.”
Mr Robertson said: “I imagined a refurbished version of the old school but this is way beyond that in terms of the quality of the build and the imagination and creativity that have gone into it.”
The school now has underfloor heating, thermostatically controlled in every room; double glazing, and data points for IT in every room. It is fully insulated, has an electronic door entry system and dedicated space on the top floor for art and science.
“There are many changes in the layout which are going to make it more user-friendly space to work and learn in. It feels like a proper school, as opposed to lodging in somebody’s house,” added Mr Robertson.
“It’s attracted a lot of attention in the community. For the first time in a number of years classes are full and we have waiting lists.”
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