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Students ready to move into new purpose built school

New Gibside School

Gateshead's flagship state-of-the-art special needs primary school has now been completed.

The new Gibside School, built on Shipcote Lane next to Shipley Art Gallery, will welcome students from Monday 22 February following the schools move from their premises in Whickham and Blaydon. It will be able to accommodate 170 pupils who have profound and multiple learning disabilities as well as those with complex communication and medical needs.

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said "We have an increasing need for specialist education school places in Gateshead and I'm very proud that we're now able to offer a purpose built, state-of-the-art school, which has been designed around the needs of children aged 3-11 years. This new school will bring additional benefits to some of our most vulnerable children and ensure that they continue to get an outstanding start in education.

"I'd also like to thank Wates Construction Group and the project delivery team, who despite facing many additional challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, have worked hard to ensure the children can move into the new school as planned."

The bespoke one-storey building will include a hydrotherapy pool with hoists two halls, an internal sheltered courtyard so children can play outdoors in all weather, a multi-use games area with accessible gym equipment sensory and soft play rooms, specialist changing facilities and offices for physiotherapy.

Delivering social value was also a priority of the project. Over the course of the build Wates provided 22 work experience weeks, spent £71k with Social Enterprises, ensured 89 per cent of labour was from within a 40 mile radius, and provided employability workshops for 224 local people.

David Wingfield, business unit director of Wates Construction in Yorkshire and North East, said: "The handover of this project is a fantastic achievement for all involved. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, our teams and partners have worked tirelessly and used huge amounts of initiative to deliver this state-of-the-art facility, within budget and to the specific design requirements of the school.

"This project's success is not only limited to the building, but in the way it has maximised its benefit to the community. The council made it clear this build should provide as many training and employment opportunities as possible. Whether through apprenticeships, career events, supporting local supply chains or social enterprises, we have continuously tried to make sure our work is leaving a positive lasting legacy for Gateshead.

"At the heart of this success was a genuine one-team approach between ourselves, the client's in-house design and delivery teams and the supply chain where there was meaningful early collaboration from pre-construction right through to completion. It is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together and I want to sincerely thank all who made it possible."

New Gibside School
18 February 2021

Gateshead's flagship state-of-the-art special needs primary school has now been completed.

The new Gibside School, built on Shipcote Lane next to Shipley Art Gallery, will welcome students from Monday 22 February following the schools move from their premises in Whickham and Blaydon. It will be able to accommodate 170 pupils who have profound and multiple learning disabilities as well as those with complex communication and medical needs.

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said "We have an increasing need for specialist education school places in Gateshead and I'm very proud that we're now able to offer a purpose built, state-of-the-art school, which has been designed around the needs of children aged 3-11 years. This new school will bring additional benefits to some of our most vulnerable children and ensure that they continue to get an outstanding start in education.

"I'd also like to thank Wates Construction Group and the project delivery team, who despite facing many additional challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, have worked hard to ensure the children can move into the new school as planned."

The bespoke one-storey building will include a hydrotherapy pool with hoists two halls, an internal sheltered courtyard so children can play outdoors in all weather, a multi-use games area with accessible gym equipment sensory and soft play rooms, specialist changing facilities and offices for physiotherapy.

Delivering social value was also a priority of the project. Over the course of the build Wates provided 22 work experience weeks, spent £71k with Social Enterprises, ensured 89 per cent of labour was from within a 40 mile radius, and provided employability workshops for 224 local people.

David Wingfield, business unit director of Wates Construction in Yorkshire and North East, said: "The handover of this project is a fantastic achievement for all involved. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, our teams and partners have worked tirelessly and used huge amounts of initiative to deliver this state-of-the-art facility, within budget and to the specific design requirements of the school.

"This project's success is not only limited to the building, but in the way it has maximised its benefit to the community. The council made it clear this build should provide as many training and employment opportunities as possible. Whether through apprenticeships, career events, supporting local supply chains or social enterprises, we have continuously tried to make sure our work is leaving a positive lasting legacy for Gateshead.

"At the heart of this success was a genuine one-team approach between ourselves, the client's in-house design and delivery teams and the supply chain where there was meaningful early collaboration from pre-construction right through to completion. It is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together and I want to sincerely thank all who made it possible."

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