Ryedale schools reap benefits of £20 million investment

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First published in News Gazette & Herald: Photograph of the Author by

SCHOOLS in Ryedale are among those in North Yorkshire to have benefited from a huge cash injection to help rebuild and refurbish old buildings.

More than 50 schools were included in the renovation programme, much of it undertaken through the summer months, with North Yorkshire County Council investing more than £20 million in the work.

Many schools have seen their roofs, windows and floors replaced, and others have had upgrades to heating and electrics.

Three laboratories and two preparation rooms were completely refurbished at Ryedale School. They were completed over the summer holidays and have already transformed science lessons.

John Gentry, director of learning at Ryedale School, said: “The laboratories are well-designed, bright, spacious, equipped with the latest technology and allow for a flexible environment which enhances learning and teaching.

“The staff, pupils and parents are delighted with these new facilities which will inspire our young people to achieve their full potential.”

Other Ryedale schools benefitting from the cash include:

• Sinnington Primary School – hygiene room provision

Pickering Community Junior School – improvements to boiler and heating infrastructure

Helmsley Community Primary School – flat roof renewal to a courtyard

• Rillington Community Primary School – roof renewal

• Sherburn CE Primary School – replacement of temporary classroom with permanent extension

• Rosedale Abbey Community Primary School – emergency works to reinstate a classroom ceiling following collapse, work planned to start early next year.

Coun Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire County Council’s schools chief, said: “At a time when the county council is facing significant reductions in the money that is available to invest in school buildings it is important that we focus our investment in the right areas.

“The county council must provide enough extra school places for North Yorkshire children at a time of rising pupil rolls, while continuing to direct investment at improving the quality of existing school buildings and ensuring they remain safe, warm and weather-tight.

“This will make sure that pupils throughout North Yorkshire will continue to enjoy high-quality learning environments.

“Delivering programmes of work of this nature within schools can be difficult as it requires a lot of effort from all concerned within a concentrated amount of time. I would like to thank all of the contractors involved in the successful delivery of the programme of work this year.”

Further refursbishments and repairs are planned for next summer and the county council is already working to identify priorities for investment beyond April 2014.

These will be finalised once it receives its capital allocation from the Government, expected to be in December.

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