Diocese of Winchester and Southampton City Council celebrate successful move of St. Mark's C of E

    Diocesan News
    10 Dec. 2020

    Progress at Southampton’s first all-through school has reached a major milestone in the project with the start of demolition works on the existing school building.

    Pupils at St. Mark’s Church of England Primary School said goodbye to the old school buildings in a virtual celebration at the end of October where they were joined by Councillor Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care. For the meantime, pupils at the school will be taught in a specially designed temporary school building. Once the temporary school is no longer needed and removed, the space will then be transformed into a multi-use games area (MUGA).

    The demolition of the existing primary school building will continue over the winter period. During demolition, heritage stonework items will be salvaged. During excavation works, the foundations and basements of the old Victorian terrace housing that once fronted Shirley Road were uncovered along with other findings such as old milk bottles from South Coast Dairies, dating back to the second world war.

    Once completed, the expanded school will create 900 much-needed new school places including a pre-school nursery, a two-form entry primary school and a six-form entry secondary school. Work on the Southampton City Council project, in partnership with the Diocese of Winchester, will be carried out in line with Government guidelines with social distancing and other measures in place to help all workers stay safe.

    Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of the Council, said:

    “We are committed to ensuring that all children and young people benefit from high-quality education and get the best possible start in life. I’m delighted that the construction of Southampton’s first all-through school, which will provide 900 much-needed additional school places, has reached this major milestone and that the staff and pupils have settled in so well.

    “I would like to extend my praise to our team and partners in meeting the half term milestone for the school to move into their temporary accommodation whilst ensuring work is carried out as responsibly and safely as possible.”

    Jeff Williams, Director of Education at the Diocese of Winchester, said:

    “The team at St Mark’s have shown extraordinary skill and dedication this year to ensure pupils continue to receive an excellent standard of education, rooted in Christian values, despite all the difficulties presented by coronavirus. This half term pupils started having lessons in their new temporary school, and there’s growing excitement about the expansion of St Mark’s Church of England Primary School. I know pupils, parents and staff alike are all eager for construction to be complete so that they can begin to benefit from the fantastic new facilities it will offer.

    “The expanded school will provide an educational environment in which pupils can flourish, as well as first-rate sports and other community facilities. The move into the temporary school is the next step on the road to making these new facilities a reality and creating the city’s first all-through school. The project shows how, working in partnership with the Council, the Church of England is committed to help more children, of all faiths and none, have the best possible start in life.”