St Albans Civic Society awards for building projects across the district

Samuel Ryder Academy was awarded the winning plaque at the St Albans Civic Society Awards night

Samuel Ryder Academy was awarded the winning plaque at the St Albans Civic Society Awards night - Credit: picture supplied

A new school in St Albans has won an award for being “pupil-friendly” and stimulating to students.

Samuel Ryder Academy in Drakes Drive, was given a St Albans Civic Society plaque for 2013 at the awards evening held by the civic watchdog group last Tuesday for its state-of-the-art primary school building.

The academy - an all-through school for youngsters aged three to 18 - was praised for linking facilities while “the unit’s bright and spacious feel successfully serves the aim of stimulating and encouraging students and staff alike”.

The primary school project met the need for a “tough yet attractive environment” despite its simplicity and clean lines.

As well as the award of the plaque, the Civic Society commended four projects from around 30 nominations they received for their annual award scheme.

Despite initially being criticised for the original size of its new pool, Westminster Lodge won a commendation for its “magnificent amenities”.

Members of the society’s awards group said that St Albans district council, faced with an ageing and dilapidated leisure centre, took a “bold decision to invest in a brand new building with a greater range of facilities to meet the growing needs of its residents”.

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The new centre provides a range of amenities including an eight-lane swimming pool, climbing walls and youth gym.

St Columba’s College, King Harry Lane, was given a commendation after replacing a “tired and dated building” with a contemporary extension.

Also receiving commendations were the refurbished The Skin Shop and Clinic, Chequer Street, and Cadoxton Place, Avenue Road, where a former residential care home for visually impaired women was turned into freehold homes using “eccentric dimensions and imaginative reconstruction”.

St Albans Mayor Cllr Geoff Harrison presented the plaque and certificates of commendation at the ceremony.