Update on The School Site
The Swanage School will open in September 2013 in temporary accommodation provided by Harrow House International College, providing our students with a fantastic environment in which to spend their first term with us.
Harrow House has excellent classroom and sports facilities, all located on one large campus in the centre of Swanage.
Detailed operational planning with the Harrow House team is ongoing, and at our Open Evening there on November 29 parents and future students alike can see the facilities available.
In January 2014 we will relocate to entirely new buildings on our permanent site on the lower field of the Swanage Middle school, which is due to close in July 2013. We have reached detailed agreement with Dorset County Council on how the site is to be divided between St Mark's primary and The Swanage school schools and how the sports facilities are to be laid out for each.
The existing Middle School site will be divided roughly East / West, with each school having its own frontage along the High Street and completely separate entrances approximately 100m apart - the concept design shown here is close to completion, and gives a good idea of how the site will look.
The Swanage School will occupy the eastern half of the site, with pedestrians entering at the corner of Washpond Lane and a vehicle entrance to a small car park (for staff and deliveries only) about one third of the way along Washpond Lane. A spacious entrance plaza will lead to the building, with the playground (including hard sports court) and a full-size FA standard U16 grass pitch beyond. The full-size (4 badminton court) sports hall and artificial turf 7-a-side pitch (referred to as the Multi-Use Games Area or "MUGA") will be sited to the north of the car park, where the current SMS netball courts sit. The remaining space around the new building and towards the back of the site will be used informally, providing external seating, an outdoor classroom and a garden area.
St Mark's will occupy the western half of the site, with their published building design entirely unaffected and retaining the existing playground. Two full-size FA standard U12 grass pitches will be created, one in front of the school building (dedicated for St Mark's use) and the other parallel with the existing driveway (which will be shared with The Swanage School). A fence, softened with screening planting, will separate the two school sites and provide a secure perimeter for St Mark's. Access gates will be included so that St Mark's pupils can easily make use of our sports hall and MUGA, and Swanage School classes can use the second St Mark's pitch.
The site boundary has been agreed for the lease agreement and we now have a very exciting design concept for The Swanage School's new building which will be developed and finalised for planning submission at the beginning of December.
Happily, we have much greater design flexibility here than on the original, constrained SGS site which reduces the design compromises we need to make.
We're now very confident that the combination of The Swanage School and the new St Mark's will be impressive additions to the approach to town, standing together as testament to the vitality and ambition of Swanage as a thriving community.
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