A new state-of-the-art secondary school building has officially opened its doors to serve the young people from the south of the borough.
The £32.5million building, funded by developer contributions and Wokingham Borough Council, is home to new school Bohunt Wokingham, which began teaching Year 7 children from temporary buildings last year.
New home for nearly 400 students
The new buildings are now home to nearly 400 Year 7 and 8 children and will continue to grow its intake until 2022, providing much needed secondary school places in the southern part of the borough.
Wokingham Mayor, Cllr Rob Stanton, visited the school on the first day of term. He said: “It’s been a long-held ambition of the council to build a new school in the south of the borough and it’s been a real privilege to see this come to fruition.
“Parents, students and local schools have all joined us on this journey to make this ambition a reality; it really is a school by the community for the community.
“It’s been wonderful to tour the facilities, which are very impressive, and I am sure an exciting future lies ahead for the current and future students and staff of Bohunt.”
Headteacher Ben Godber said: “It was a delight to welcome Cllr Rob Stanton, Mayor of Wokingham Borough, to Bohunt School Wokingham on our very first day in the new school building and fabulous to see his visible pleasure at the dream of so many years becoming a reality.
“The students have been thrilled with their new surroundings, particularly the year eights who spent last year watching and wondering while the new building rose in front of them.
“Whilst it has been a very hectic last few weeks getting the building ready for use, it has been entirely worth it, now we can see classes in action and the Bohunt ethos and feeling begin to work itself into the fabric of our surroundings. There is no doubt this will be a fantastic opportunity for the young people of Wokingham Borough and an incredible journey for everyone who is part of the school community over the next few years.”
The council has been working closely with the community on all aspects of the new school – with parents instrumental in improving and enhancing the design beyond the ‘basic’ Department for Education requirements.
Within the building there is a suite of customised STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) rooms, science labs, a drama theatre, and large light and open plan areas which house the school’s impressive, ICT, art and learning resource centres.
Sports facilities, which will be shared with the local community, are provided in the adjacent sports centre, including a 3G AstroTurf and tennis and netball courts.
And a key part of the scheme was to ensure safe pedestrian routes to the new school. This included an improved continuous pedestrian which route is now in place on Nine Mile Ride from California Cross Roads to the school, via Park Lane.
A controlled pedestrian crossing has been installed at Park Lane and the speed limit along the entire section of pedestrian route has been reduced to 30mph.
The new buildings have been built by the borough council contractor’s Dawnus Construction. It’s located in the major development known as Arborfield Green, being developed by Crest Nicholson. The facility is part of the master-planned growth of the borough, which has been driven by the borough council’s plans to manage new growth to secure high quality infrastructure rich new developments such as this.
Bohunt Wokingham is the first new secondary school to be built in the borough for more than half a century.