Woodlands Meed rebuild delayed again: council ‘extremely disappointed’ that West Sussex school will not be handed over in Christmas break
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This is the third time the opening of the revamped college in Burgess Hill has been delayed.
A WSCC spokesperson announced on Friday, November 17: “Following recent surveyor inspections it is clear that developments at Woodlands Meed are not progressing sufficiently to allow the site to be handed over to the school during the Christmas break, as agreed in September.
“WSCC is extremely disappointed that despite assurances from the contractor for Woodlands Meed, the main school building will not be completed to an acceptable standard in time to allow the transfer from the old to the new building. We are working closely with the school and the contractor on establishing a timeline and share the frustration of staff, parents and pupils in there being a further delay in this project being completed.”
Marion Wilcock, chair of Governors at Woodlands Meed, said on November 17: “As we now approach the end of term and look forward to the Christmas activities, we had also been looking forward to inviting you to see the new college building ready for students in the New Year. Sadly, this is not going to be the case.”
The facilities are set to benefit 100 children with special education needs. They include: a hydrotherapy pool; 12 new classrooms and specialist learning areas for music, sciences and food technology; an outside courtyard and amphitheatre; sport facilities including an all-weather pitch, a two-court sports hall and accessible changing facilities; a large dining hall and kitchen, common room and a range of therapy space; and new outside learning and play areas, including an outside gym and gardening areas.
Mrs Wilcock said there is no proposed date for completion yet but the governors will meet with WSCC and contractor ISG soon. She said they will ‘try to resolve the barriers to a satisfactory completion’ and will issue an update once they have more information.
She said: “We all understand just how frustrating this is, but we and WSCC are determined that the building will be completed to a satisfactory standard so it will serve pupils well, long into the future, without a legacy of construction and maintenance issues.”