The construction of the 420-pupil primary school development at Graven Hill, near Bicester, has been completed, and the school has been handed over to the Warriner Multi Academy Trust to welcome children from 11 September 2023.
Delivered on a three-acre site and funded by the Graven Hill development, the school was constructed by Kier on behalf of Graven Hill Village Development Company (GHVDC) and Oxfordshire County Council.
Adrian Unitt, Operations Director at GHVDC, said: “We have overcome huge challenges in the UK construction industry, from significant inflation of costs to access to materials, so it is fantastic that we have succeeded in delivering the primary school before the occupation of the 550th home at Graven Hill.
“Designed to promote collaboration and flexible learning, the new school will enhance the great sense of community spirit here. With a focus on great architecture, the building has been designed to reduce energy and water consumption, enhance ecology, protect biodiversity and maximise natural ventilation.”
The two-form entry school is being run by the Warriner Academy Trust. It provides 12 classrooms, specialist facilities for art, design and technology and more than 13,000 sq m of pitches, a play and multi-use games areas.
The early years facility will accommodate a further 90 pupils aged between 2-4 years in three classrooms, with dedicated facilities and play areas. The capacity of the site also enables the school to expand to three forms of entry in future.
Annabel Kay, CEO of the Warriner Multi Academy Trust, said: “We are so excited by the opportunity to work closely with members of the Graven Hill community to ensure that the primary school is one that we are all proud of and, most importantly, one where our children can thrive.
“Being able to develop and establish a culture happens very rarely and we are all determined to make our school the very best that it can be. Both Keir and the GHVDC have worked so hard to deliver the most wonderful school for all of our children and we look forward to welcoming the community through our doors”.
Councillor Calum Miller, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “I know how much residents in Graven Hill have been looking forward to the opening of their primary school.
“A school stands at the heart of its community so this marks an important point in the development of Graven Hill. Thank you to the team who have worked so well together to deliver the school at the start of the new academic year. I hope it will be the home of many happy memories for pupils – this year and for many years to come.”
The building has been designed with enhanced thermal values and high-performance materials to the principles of Net Zero Carbon and achieved a BREEAM* Very Good rating. The photovoltaic panels will also provide power to the local grid when the school is not in use. As well as reducing the amount of heat and energy the school will use, the design also maximises natural ventilation to deliver a healthy place to learn.
Andy Bolas, regional director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “We are delighted to have delivered a state-of-the-art new primary school for Graven Hill. The school has been designed and built to provide students and teachers with sustainable learning facilities which will serve the community well for decades to come.”
Graven Hill remains a hugely popular development. Unique and diverse, it offers a wide range of housing options from self-build and custom-build, which can be tailored to your needs, to apartments and affordable homes. Significant amenities planned include a sports pavilion, pitches and allotments. A community centre is also set to be delivered by the local council. GHVDC is also seeking local contractors to tender for its next phase of new homes and apartments.