DEPUTY Mayor of Thurrock Councillor, Tunde Ojetela officially opened Woodside Academy’s 6 classroom extension at 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday 7th December. The extension was commissioned by Thurrock Council to enable the academy to continue to admit an additional 30 children every year.
Architects Alderton Associates produced a design very much in keeping with the original building and this has been expertly executed by Beardswell Construction under the direction of Thurrock Council, collaborating closely with the academy. The two-storey extension to the building has six classrooms plus additional toilets including two disabled toilets, a PE store, group room, stairs, lift, and a rooftop viewing terrace. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives from all the above and the entire school who were entertained by Woodside’s own steel band.
When Woodside School, originally named Tyrells, was built in 1952; it was state of the art for the time, with radio speakers and roller black boards in every room! The new extension is equally up-to-date for its time, with internet-connected touch screens, air conditioning, LED lighting and a number of eco features including solar power, and a sedum “grass” roof which can be viewed, along with the surrounding countryside, from the terrace. The school was originally built in the “Ocean Liner Art Deco Style” and the new extension echoes the lines of the original and even includes the trademark “porthole” windows. In keeping with this the extension opening followed the tradition of launching a ship by breaking a bottle of “champagne” on the top of the building from the roof terrace. Following the opening a Rowan tree donated by Beardswell Construction was also planted to replace a tree lost in the construction.
Woodside Principal Edward Caines said “We are committed to providing children with the very best and are grateful to Thurrock Council for helping us fulfil this vision with this impressive new building. We can now continue to grow as a three form entry school to 690 children including nursery and provide our children with an excellent environment for learning.”
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