St Albans school to undergo expansion to increase pupil capacity
PUBLISHED: 17:04 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:34 01 April 2019
A St Albans school has received funding for an expansion which includes new classrooms and facilities.
Samuel Ryder Academy in Drakes Drive, which caters for children age four to 18, will undergo refurbishment and an extension after receiving funding from Herts county council, with the aim of expanding the school’s capacity.
Currently, the school buildings no longer meet the national area guidelines for mainstream schools, and further teaching spaces are required to meet the increased demand for school places.
The expansion includes the provision of a new 10-classroom teaching building, changing rooms, an expanded multi-use hard court games surface and refurbishment of existing art, music, science and teaching spaces in the Sixth Form centre.
Proposals were put forward by the school’s senior leadership team, working alongside consultants Barker Associates and Andrew Martin Planning.
Cllr Terry Douris, the county council’s cabinet member for education, libraries and localism, said: “As with other parts of the UK, Hertfordshire is having to face up to the challenge of how to accommodate an increasing population, which in turn creates an extra demand for school places in the county.
“Increasing the capacities of existing schools such as Samuel Ryder Academy is one way of supporting sustainable growth in the county, and we are delighted to be supporting this expansion.”
The expansion had to take into account maintaining the location of departments that were already well established within the school and would be expensive to relocate, such as science and design technology, and allowing teaching teams to maintain their close working relationships.
They also had to consider the Green Belt boundary which cuts across the site, ensuring as much of the new teaching spaces as possible are provided outside of this zone.
Deputy headteacher Ian Bailey said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to further improve our excellent facilities at Samuel Ryder. “It will provide even more opportunities for our students to experience a first class education.”
Work is due to begin on site in July this year, aiming to finish by August 2020.