First look inside Tring School's £30million new build project as it nears completion
Planning permission was granted for a rebuild to provide Tring with a new, sustainable school in January 2020
Tring School's £30million new build project is nearing completion with students moving in when schools return after the festive break.
And The Hemel Gazette was invited for a tour of the new building, which will be handed over to the school on January 6, with students returning on January 11.
Planning permission was granted for a rebuild to provide Tring with a new, sustainable school in January 2020, and two years on, the school is looking forward to welcoming students, staff and the wider community into its new building.
The £30million project is largely government-funded but the school has contributed a significant amount of its own funds to create additional pastoral and physical education facilities.
The school is being constructed by Bowmer and Kirkland and will be one of the most sustainably designed schools in the country with additional facilities to support the pastoral care and emotional wellbeing of the students.
In August, the first stage of the demolition at Tring School was completed and the team went on to pour the concrete for the new foundations for the new build.
Since then, the building has been rapidly growing with each passing week and with temporary classrooms positioned on the school's field, students have watched parts of the old building being demolished and their new building being erected.
The buildings are also environmentally efficient and will include a number of elements that will make it one of the most sustainable new schools in the country.
The new facilities will include state of the art science laboratories, design and technology facilities, art rooms, classrooms, new dining room, learning resources centre, sixth form centre, a four-court sports hall and an activity studio.
Every single teaching space will benefit from new and high-quality ICT equipment.
Rod Gibberd, business director at Tring School, said: "Despite the myriad of obstacles and unforeseen circumstances, the construction has been completed on budget and on time.
"Items are being decanted from the old school and the temporary classrooms into the new building over the Christmas break.
"The front of the new building will be significantly further back from the road thus reducing the impact on the local community; this has been a key element in the exterior design and landscaping.
"Each floor of the three storey school has a different colour, to differentiate each floor.
"The inside of the building is very impressive, the classrooms, laboratories and all the teaching rooms are very spacious with large windows to allow maximum natural light.
"The corridors and stairwells are wide and allow a two-way flow of staff and students. The dining room is an atrium at the heart of the school.
"The doors in the atrium open out to the playground, they will open up in the summer and the students can get their food and then go and sit outside, hopefully we get lots of nice weather!
"The four-court sports hall is larger than a normal school facility in order to meet the Sport England specification for a number of sports at national level.
"The activity studio is equally impressive and includes a large skylight to allow natural light to flood in.
"The Learning Resource Centre and the Sixth Form are on the second and third floors respectively and both enjoy views towards Tring Park and Wendover Woods.
"The new school building looks modern and spacious, and it will be beneficial for not just the students and staff, but the wider community of Tring as well.
"The new sports hall has a “pulastic” floor, the two storey high activity studio has a mirrored wall, ballet barres, a partially sprung beech floor and a state of the art sound system.
"Both of these facilities are available for community use during evenings, weekends and school holidays.
"They are integrated with the 25m swimming pool to form the Tring Sports Centre.
"The swimming pool is already very popular with the community, we have lots of people using the pool before 8am, after 4pm and at the weekends and school holidays.
"The final phase of the programme is the demolition of the original school followed by the landscaping and construction of a new car park to be completed by the summer of 2022."
Alongside the construction of the new building, the school has invested over £350k on the refurbishment of the retained Beloe block.
All of the teaching spaces in this block will have an identical configuration to those in the new building. This includes a state of the art 86 inch interactive screen in every room.
Rod added: "We have spent £400,000 on a pastoral support area, which includes counselling, emotional support and support for children, this is a really important area for us as we have seen how much the pandemic and lockdowns have affected young people's mental health.
"The team at Bowmer and Kirkland have been great, and they have done an amazing job, really bringing our plans to reality."
On Wednesday, December 8, Tring School welcomed the Bishop of Bedford to bless the new school building.
The Rt Revd Richard Atkinson was accompanied by the Head Students, school governors, members of the school Leadership Team and the Reverend Jane Bannister.
The Blessing was carried out by Bishop Richard on the middle floor of the three storey atrium which forms the new dining room in the school.
The school launched The Big School Fit Out fundraising campaign in an attempt to raise £50,000 to invest in new cricket nets, dining room furniture, outside green spaces, high quality audio/visual in the dining room and the activity studio, outdoor furniture, a boulevard of trees and sports equipment.
To make a donation visit www.rocketfund.org and search for Tring School.