In 2013, Sheffield City Council conducted a public consultation concerning the need to provide extra primary school places in the Greystones catchment area. The final recommendation for the expansion of Greystones Primary School was agreed to, with provision increasing to places for 90 children at Foundation Stage 2 level for all subsequent years commencing September 2015.
The implications of moving the school to three form entry was that the school would need to undergo some physical building changes. There was a public exhibition held on Tuesday 23rd May 2014 which gave insight into how the new building and adaptation of the main Greystones Building would look. The school had already drawn up plans to make some important safeguarding changes to the entrance and administrative areas of the school. These had been scheduled for implementation, and authorised by the Governing Body when the need for permanent expansion arose. On that basis the school decided it was prudent to await the proposals and incorporate the safeguarding measures as part of the new plans.
In addition to the changes at ground floor level, the school needed increased capacity within the dining room to accommodate the increasing numbers of children, and to take into consideration the recent legislation providing all infant-aged children with a free cooked school meal from September 2014 onwards. The Greystones building dining room improves accessibility to the dining room by providing an indoor route combined with lift. This space has also become the location for the After School Club when the single-storey 1930s Horsa Hut accommodation was demolished.
In January 2015, the school became a building site with contractors moving on to site and taking over certain areas of the school campus. The last week of February saw excavating of the ground ready for the foundations, and then the beginning of the pouring of concrete. The children saw the creation of the pads which the steel uprights would be bolted to. These anchor points form a very important part of the foundation for the full structural frame of the building.
As the school closed for the Easter holidays, there was a significant increase in the work being done on site. The steel framework of the new building was lifted into place and there was a major excavation in the KS2 playground for the installation of an attenuation tank.Part of the planning/building conditions was that all surface water run-off from the new building (rain water from the roof and the surrounding area) cannot be discharged directly into the drains; it has to be collected into a tank and then released at a slow flow rate, helping to prevent flooding further down the line in the underground drains. The attenuation tank is made of a honey-comb type structure which is very strong, but full of holes that can store the rainwater. Once the tank was installed, the playground was resurfaced ready for the pupils to use again.
By May 2015, the full steel structure was in place, and the concrete floors completed. The outer skin of block work - quarried stone from Leeds - was specially selected to match the existing two main buildings; and whilst these are weathered and blackened from many years of exposure to the elements and pollution, it's clear to see how well the colours match. The roof trusses were craned on to the roof-top of the building after which the roof was clad in waterproof lining and composite slate roofing.
The summer of 2015 saw the school stop using the dining room to allow the building work to start on its extension. The serving of meals moved in to the Greystones Building Hall, which became something almost resembling Hogwarts with long rows of tables for the children to sit at. The school took over the caretaker's house and moved the staff room into it to enable the release of the space in the main building to be converted into a new classroom.
The central location of the new extension enables the new block to act as a link between the two original buildings unifying and centralising the teaching accommodation which was spread over the school site, the building providing a sheltered route between the existing blocks. Locating the new block centrally enables the rear of the site to be given over to a continuous play area which is easily supervised and is flexible to accommodate the school's needs. The chosen location enables the extension to be built without demolition of the existing facilities enabling the school to function at full capacity. Finally the central location of the new extension places it away from the school boundaries thus ensuring that it does not impact on the surrounding properties.
The new building provides fit-for-purpose Foundation Stage accommodation designed with modern teaching practices in mind. Our Foundation Stage staff enjoyed having hands-on input to the way in which this department area has been designed, and what facilities are available for them to use. The Year 6 staff also had their input to the way in which their teaching area was developed, including the use of break-out space / small group room similar to that previously available in the Dobbin 3 building. In addition to this, the rest of the building has been developed to provide an up to date Learning Resource Room (combining the best of library and internet research facilities), improved staff facilities and meeting space as well as improved storage space for resources.
Following the development of the new block, the Tullibardine Building became the home of Years 1 and 2, with an amount of refurbishment work done to improve the facilities for those specific year groups.
The final part of the expansion process was to demolish and re-landscape the remaining play space to improve the overall outdoor facilities for the children. The MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) was relocated to the rear of the campus, and landscaping enabled this to be a flat area; enclosed within an amount of barrier fencing to protect other areas of the play space from being encroached on by ball games. The landscaping also allows the school to have more greenery; grass and tree-planting being high on the agenda for the space along with the relocation of the school's raised growing beds and greenhouse to a central, safer place.