Work begins on new Mary Hare building
Contractors have begun work to build a new primary building on the same site as Mary Hare's secondary school.
The primary is currently located in Greenham, but plans were approved in 2018 to relocate it to Snelsmore Common.
The new school will include its own entrance and parking, state-of-the-art classrooms, a music room, gymnasium, art and design facilities, dedicated audiology room and boarding facilities.
Provision has also been made for open space for extracurricular and recreational activities.
Mary Hare, which is one of the leading schools for deaf children and young people in the UK, has spent three-and-a-half years raising money towards the new school building, which will replace the current primary school at Mill Hall.
It is hoped that the new location will allow for greater engagement with staff and pupils at the existing secondary school.
Mary Hare's principal, Peter Gale, said: "We want to work closely with local authorities, and for them to see our new school as part of their continuum of provision for deaf children in their authority.
"This collaborative approach is in everybody’s interest and ultimately the child's."
The school's head, Robert Rattray, said: "We are delighted that the work has now begun.
"This is so much more than just a building project.
"The new school will ensure we can continue to secure the education of deaf primary pupils well into the future.
"I want to thank everyone who has supported our appeal to raise the funds for this project so far - and to encourage anyone who would still like to make a donation towards our new school to visit our website."
The director of contractor Beard, Jamie Harwood, said: "As a constructor with specialist expertise in the education sector, we are very aware of the importance of creating spaces which are inspiring places to learn for the pupils, and as places of work for the teachers and staff.
"We're very much looking forward to bringing the fantastic vision for Mary Hare Primary School to life, in order to provide a vital national resource and centre for teaching deaf children."