Expansion plans for Manea School includes new teaching wing
A village school is set to undergo a major transformation later this year when a new teaching wing is added.
Cambridgeshire County Council is behind the development proposals for the expansion of Manea Community Primary School which will also include an extension to the pre-school as well as the school hall.
The teaching wing will replace a double mobile currently used as classrooms and provide 60 new places.
The pre-school extension will add space for up to 40 children per session and will also involve refurbishment of the existing provision.
Work is due to start in May with the aim of the new facilities being ready for use in autumn 2025.
In addition, the existing school hall will be extended and there will be internal re-modelling to improve facilities for pupils with special educational needs.
The school caters for 180 pupils in both the main building and a double mobile classroom. However, there are currently not enough spaces to meet demand with some village children being forced to attend schools in neighbouring towns and villages.
Manea pre-school is also on the school site but is operated independently of the school.
The county council carried out a public consultation on the plans in September and explained the proposals were needed to meet an expected increase in demand for places due to housing developments in the village.
In addition to the new teaching wing and pre-school extension, the existing school hall will be extended and there will be internal re-modelling to improve facilities for pupils with special educational needs.
Documents on the county council’s website explain the proposals and the thinking behind the design.
They state the new teaching wing has been designed to be a stand-alone building comprising Key Stage 1 and 2 classrooms, group, and supporting ancillary spaces.
It is proposed that the children will enter the building directly from the external grounds into their respective classrooms, with coat provision within the classrooms adjacent to the point of entry.
The class spaces face north, benefiting from uniform natural light and a reduction in solar gain, behind which sits a circulation spine with group and toilets to the south.
Such an arrangement reinforces the school's ‘Forest School’ ethos.
The overall strategy for the design of the classrooms allows flexibility in teaching practices there is the potential to internally link the rooms to allow the management flexibility of combined or separate operations.
The building has been arranged so that the classrooms are clustered to reflect the working requirements of the school
Toilets for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are proposed to be open to circulation to provide passive surveillance and greater management of the spaces.
Group spaces have been provided, again open to circulation which has the added advantage of bringing light into the circulation spine.
It is proposed to increase the floor space within the main hall to accommodate the additional dining area required by the pupils through a mixture of remodelling the existing building and a small extension.
One of the group areas adjacent to the hall will be merged with the existing hall, with further additional area provided via a small extension between the hall and current office/toilets.
The preschool will remain in its existing location with the current spaces internally remodelled and refreshed and the building extended along the line of the perimeter to provide the additional accommodation required for the increased intake of children.
The existing classroom is to be extended to the east of the of the current building, providing additional class space and new toilets. The mass of the extension will reinforce the school boundary and creates a protected and sheltered playground for the children.