New term, fantastic new school

WISBECH’s Thomas Clarkson Community College opened its doors to students today (Friday) with Phase 1 of its £30m re-development complete.

The new state of the art building, which has taken 16 months to complete, includes all the teaching accommodation spread across three new ‘learning communities’, a new kitchen and restaurant area, a new sports wing including a new sports hall, a new administration wing and an impressive new atrium which includes a climbing wall and a green wall.

The new atrium, which is the centre of the new school, will be able to accommodate 1,500 students for assemblies and meetings.

New ICT equipment has been installed and there is wireless coverage throughout the new building. The building also includes measures to reduce its environmental impact including biomass heating and solar panels for generating part of the college’s electricity needs.

Principal Maureen Strudwick, whose vision inspired the new building, said: “This is a fantastic day. Many, many people have worked extremely hard to turn the ideas for our new school into breathtaking reality. I am delighted with what has been achieved and I am confident that our fantastic new surroundings will help us to continue to improve everything we do at Thomas Clarkson Community College.”

Work on Phase 2, which includes demolition of the college’s existing buildings, development of a new hall/theatre and other performing arts accommodation, as well as the new car park and external landscaping, will start next week. The whole project is due to be completed by November 2012.

Thomas Clarkson Community College is the second school in the Fenland Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme to occupy part of its new accommodation. Phase 1 at Neale-Wade Community College in March was handed over in August 2011 and work started last summer at Chatteris Cromwell Community College and Meadowgate School, Wisbech and Sir Harry Smith Community College, Whittlesey.

Thomas Clarkson Community College is due to become an Academy later this year as part of the Brooke Weston Partnership of Academy schools.