STAFF and students are set to move into a brand-new primary school and preschool in Poole next month.

The keys to the new two-storey Hillbourne Primary School have been officially handed over by the contractor to the school, with pupils and staff moving into their new surroundings from the beginning of November.

The £9 million development was first approved by Poole council in 2018, prior to its merge with Bournemouth and Christchurch councils, due to concerns the facilities were “not fit for purpose”.

As part of BCP Council’s plans to develop the site, the new school on the Waterloo Estate replaces the existing school buildings on the site at Kitchener Crescent.

Portfolio holder for Covid resilience, schools and skills at BCP Council Cllr Nicola Greene said: “I’m delighted that we have successfully developed a new fit-for-purpose building for the Waterloo community.

“It will benefit and support our young people to receive a high-quality education in a fantastic environment, giving them the best opportunities to grow and flourish.”

Ward Councillor Judes Butt added: "Over 20 years ago, we promised a new school for our children.

“Together with my previous ward councillors, Burden and Rampton, the school, parents and the whole community, even after so many set-backs over the years, we never gave up and now are rewarded with our ‘jewel in the crown’, a purpose built home of learning, both for academic and life-long skills.

“Huge thanks to all involved."

The new school facilities include a modern main building with 14 classrooms, a practical room and learning resource centre.

An administration block has been constructed, along with a large hall, containing a servery, and a pre-school space with a dedicated play area.

Bournemouth Echo:

Outside, the school will have the use of two multi-use games areas, outdoor play areas and a purpose-built sports pitch, as well as a secure car park for staff.

Modern features comprise of solar panels, mechanical ventilation in all classrooms, a sprinkler system and intelligent lighting.

Helen Roderick, Headteacher at Hillbourne Primary, said: “Our new school building allows all of our pupils and staff to work together for the first time. We are very excited about this. We are all thrilled to be working in a such a beautiful building.

“Having drinkable water, windows that open and shut, a heating system that will keep us all at the right temperature and ‘intelligent’ lighting is going to make learning so much easier.

“We have really enjoyed watching our new building being constructed and are very grateful to the efforts of all the people who have worked so hard to make it possible.”

The demolition of the existing buildings will facilitate the completion of the external areas and all works will be complete in April 2022.

Bournemouth Echo:

The location of the new school building means that surplus land to the north and south will be available for the development of new homes once the existing buildings have been demolished in the second phase of the project.

Area Director for Morgan Sindall Construction Clifford Kinch said: “We’re so proud to be handing over the keys to Hillbourne Primary School which will provide exciting new modern teaching facilities for the local area.

“Creating inspiring educational spaces is a key part of what we do, and we hope the staff, pupils and parents at Hillbourne enjoy their new environment.

“We’ve enjoyed working collaboratively with BCP Council throughout this project and we look forward to working with them in the final stages.”