WORK to build a brand new £2million school is Washington has begun and is due for completion next October.
Usworth Grange Primary School in Sulgrave will be rebuilt in an 18-month project costing £2,174,379.
The new school will accommodate 210 pupils and a nursery. The project will eventually see the old school buildings demolished and the area restored by May 2015.
Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, Coun Pat Smith, said: “The city council is delighted that the work to build Usworth Grange Primary has finally begun after a lot of planning and preparation.
“The new building will accommodate 210 pupils, plus a nursery, in a range of classrooms, learning resource areas, multi-purpose hall, kitchen and other non-academic spaces.
“As part of the longer term primary replacement programme, this project will surely enhance the learning experience of the children and young people in the area.”
Built within the grounds of the existing school, the new building will be a single-storey structure.
School governor and Washington North councillor John Kelly said: “The school design has been developed to keep energy needs, such as heating and lighting, to a minimum and to make the most of the space available.
“I believe that this is a fantastic step forward for the school.
“Parents, staff and pupils alike are really looking forward to making the most of the brand new facilities and all of the opportunities they will bring.”
The project is funded through the Education Funding Agency’s Priority Schools Building Programme due to the age and condition of the existing building.
Headteacher Leigh Ford added: “We are delighted that our new school build has begun.
“We have been in the planning stage for the school for over a year now, and to see the building work actually start is exciting for the whole community. The new school will be a huge boost for the area and especially for the parents, pupils and staff.
“We will all benefit from the brand new building, which will be much more energy-efficient than the present one, and give the children a clean, bright and airy place to learn.
“We hope that the whole community will be able to make use of this wonderful new resource.”