Mary Hare School for deaf children, in Newbury, is well on track to welcome pupils to its new primary school in September
A Newbury school will soon be “separate but together” as a big build to create a new primary facility nears completion.
Mary Hare School, which supports deaf children in both a day and boarding capacity, is moving its primary facility from its home in Greenham to the school’s main site at Snelsmore Common.
An appeal to raise the £4m needed for the project began in July 2017 and work started on the build in June 2020, having been slightly delayed due to the Covid pandemic.
The school will be handed the keys to the building by contractors Beard on July 22 this year.
Last week the Newbury Weekly News was given a tour of the new school building and boarding house by Peter Robson, Mary Hare chief operating officer, and Andy Spence, Rob Steele and Emanuel Ali from Beard.
The three-storey boarding house and ‘D-shaped’ school building are situated on the school’s 123 acre site, meaning that pupils will now be able to easily access facilities there, such as the swimming pool.
The school has underfloor heating and both buildings will be heated by an air source heat pump, with solar panels also being installed on the roof of the boarding house.
The school will be able to accommodate a maximum of 48 primary pupils, with up to 32 residential spaces.
The new school – where internal decoration will begin next week – has been created with acoustics at the front and centre, to ensure the best learning experience for the pupils.
The school hosts a “fantastic outlook” over the West Berkshire countryside and includes a MUGA, courtyard, art room, music room and food tech area, as well as speech and language rooms and an early years classroom with its own toilet.
Mary Hare CEO and principal Peter Gale - who retires this summer - said the idea of moving the primary school from its current site at Mill Hall, Greenham was first discussed when he joined in 2014.
“I am proud to be leaving the school in good shape,” he added. “It [Mill Hall] has been a happy home but we wanted this notice of one school, one site.
“We came up with this idea of separate but together.
“They will now be learning in 21st century facilities and the earlier the intervention the better.
“We want to help as many deaf children and their families as we can.
“There’s a real buzz about the place now and the new primary school is at the heart of that.
“It makes me very happy to know that, all being well, there will be children in that school in September.”
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