The Archbishop of York is to bless a new extension and spiritual garden at a York primary school following completion of a six-month building scheme.
Dr John Sentamu will mark the occasion at St Barnabas Church of England Primary School in Leeman Road tomorrow after a £600,000 project to create two new classrooms, resource areas, a larger kitchen space and a spiritual garden.
The project is the latest phase of development at the school, which was officially opened by the Archbishop when it relocated to its current site in 2005.
Headteacher Karen Boardman said: “We are delighted the Archbishop is coming back to bless our new extension at St Barnabas, 10 years after he opened this building. Our new facilities have already made a great difference to this community and we have additional classroom space, which is fantastic. We can now serve siblings and families moving to the area and we are delighted with the improved provision made to supply universal free school meals for our pupils.”
St Barnabas CE Primary School has been extended by construction and facilities management company Sewell Group to increase its pupil capacity from 120 to 180 places.
Work began in April and was completed on schedule for the start of the new school year.
The Archbishop of York, who will arrive at the school at 1.45pm tomorrow, said: “St Barnabas is known as someone who encourages others to achieve and this is at the heart of this school’s ethos. I wish them every blessing in the brilliant work they are doing with children and their families in this community. It is fantastic to see that work expanding through this new extension. Let’s dream some dreams together about what is possible with God in the next 10 years. Go for it!”
The Archbishop will speak at the afternoon school assembly before visiting the new classroom and kitchen areas.He will lead the blessing in the spiritual garden, with pupils, staff, governors, parents and guardians attending.
Sewell Group Director Graham Atkins said: “The extension, which is extending a building we built 10 years ago, will help cater for the significant increase in demand for primary school pupils in this area. It’s accommodating children who would have, ordinarily, had to go somewhere else because of the demand for places and numbers of children. It’s a first because it’s a PFI school and Sewell Group and the local authority have worked together in partnership to deliver it. It has been delivered on time and on budget. The Archbishop of York’s presence will be a wonderful celebration for the partnership, the school, the community, the church and Sewell Group. We are really pleased to be involved in it and it’s really nice to see it progress.”
Sewell Group provides construction and facilities management services to schools across the Yorkshire and Humber region. Sewell is City of York Council’s PFI partner at St Oswald’s CE Primary School, St Barnabas CE Primary School and Hob Moor Children’s Centre.
Cllr Jenny Brooks, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People at City of York Council, said: “Creating additional school places is a challenge for many local authorities. We are fortunate in York that we enjoy excellent partnerships that support the creation of new places. I’m delighted to see this project complete. We will continue to support St Barnabas CE School to ensure its pupils get the very best education and learning experience.”