Our Chair, Councillor Percy Prowse, opened a new £4.5m extension at a special school in Barnstaple on Thursday.
The new Ocean Building, at the Lampard Community School, is the final part of a refurbishment that will increase pupil capacity by 60 places.
Cllr Prowse was joined by members of the PTA, governors, staff, local Special School Head Teachers and the MP for North Devon Selaine Saxby.
Lampard is one of 12 special schools in Devon and it caters for children, aged five to 16, with complex needs.
Each child at Lampard has an Education Health Care Plan and has speech, language, communication and interaction needs.
The refurbishment began during the Summer of 2021 and saw the complete re-modelling of all the teaching spaces in the former Upper School block as well as extensive re-roofing works and a new Multi-Use Games Area.
The next stage included a new medical room, re-modelled staff toilets, refurbished areas for the relocated library and meeting room and a second Food Technology Room for the Lower School.
The new two-storey Ocean Building provides an additional five classrooms, sports hall, changing rooms, resource space, offices, stores and toilets along with external landscaping and reconfigured car parking.
The project has been jointly funded from DCC’s Strategic Planning SEND Capital and Built Environment Team maintenance budget, at a total cost of £4.5M and was delivered by Fifield Construction.
Head Teacher Jennie Harvey said:
“The staff and I are thrilled to have The Ocean Building to support the delivery of our EMPOWER curriculum.
On their journey through Lampard, students work towards independence, improving their communication skills and having high levels of emotional wellbeing. This investment in Lampard Community School and what we do is very positive, and we look forward to supporting more young people with SEND in the near future.”
Chair of Devon County Council Percy Prowse said:
“I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to open this fantastic building today.
“This is one of a number of projects that will increase specialist school places and opportunities for many young people across Devon.”
Councillor Lois Samuel Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for SEND Improvement Services said:
“I am pleased that the new building and improvements have now been completed.”
“The numbers of children and young people who need specialist support in Devon is increasing and this is yet another example of Devon County Council’s continued significant investment in specialist educational provision in local communities, reducing the need for some children and young people to travel distances to access quality learning that meets their individual needs.
“I’d like to thank the school for all it is doing to ensure that children and young people receive the best education and learning experience, helping to provide students with the opportunities to develop and grow to achieve their full potential.”