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£6 million SEND school expansion in Kendal taking shape

Construction work on a major £6m project to expand Sandgate School for children with Special Educational Needs in Kendal is making significant progress, with the recent completion of the steel framework for the building.

Five months into the project, the structure and layout for the four additional classrooms, new sports hall, changing rooms and additional facilities has now been erected. Construction works are anticipated to be completed by Autumn 2024.

Sandgate is a special school for children and young people between the ages of three and nineteen years.  Funding for the project, provided by Westmorland and Furness Council, will expand the Sandgate School satellite campus at The Queen Katherine School to include pupils in Key Stage 3. This means all secondary age pupils can learn on the same site and will also increase the overall capacity of Sandgate School.

Progress to date has included excavation of the site to complete the foundations and drainage works, access roads and car parks and the installation of structural steelworks which have now been encased in concrete.  Contractors are battling the recent subzero temperatures to work on the foundation blockwork, roof sheeting and concrete floor slab, reinforced with steel mesh.

Work scheduled for February will see additional roof and cladding works taking place, as well as superstructure masonry, window and door installation and essential sewer connection works on Shap Road, planned to take place from 12 February for 2 weeks.

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “This is my first visit to the site since construction started in September and it is great to see the infra structure of this new building coming together.

‘’You can really picture what a huge benefit these additional facilities will bring to both school’s pupils and teaching staff, bring pupils with SEND alongside their peers.”

Cllr Peter Thornton, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Assets, said: “This investment will provide great facilities for children with Special Educational Needs in their immediate local area.

‘’We want to provide the right services and facilities where they’re needed.  It’s good to see the progress that’s been made so far and I look forward to seeing the building work finished.”

Daniel Hinton, Headteacher at Sandgate School, said: “The inclusivity this project will offer for students across both schools is fantastic and everyone in The Sandgate community is excited to see how the site has progressed so far. 

‘’Sandgate students are looking forward to the completion of the works and utilising the new facilities as part of their education.”

''I would personally like to thank Parkinsons builders for the way in which they have worked with our students with Special Educational Needs and updated staff and parents with any developments''

Jon Hayes, Headteacher at The Queen Katherine School (QKS), said: “Students at both Sandgate and The Queen Katherine School will reap the benefits of this new, modern extension and it is a great project to be collaborating on.

‘’We look forward to welcoming more Sandgate students onto our joint site later this year.”

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