BENTLEY Primary School is raffling a new Mini Cooper car worth £15,000 to help raise funds for The Big School Build – and it is not too late to have a go at winning it!
With the draw due to take place tomorrow (Saturday) there is a last-minute chance to see if you could be the lucky winner.
Launched at the beginning of 2016, The Big School Build is an ambitious 18-month campaign to raise £200,000, needed to support urgent renovation and refurbishment work to the Victorian building.
The catalyst for the project has been the awarding of a £310,000 Section 106 grant associated with the development of housing on the former Treloar School site at neighbouring Upper Froyle which, it is thought, will increase the pressure on Bentley Primary School to take more pupils.
As a result, the school set up a building committee to look at how best to use the money.
Built in 1842, to accommodate around 50 pupils, Bentley Primary School has been modernised and expanded over the years to update the facilities and include children from Froyle. An Ofsted inspection in 2007 declared it “an outstanding school” and one which has continued to grow in stature and popularity. It now has 213 pupils and 28 staff, and it is bursting at the seams.
According to staff and parents, the building has inadequate toilet facilities, needs a new drainage system, a kitchen extension, and a new classroom.
But it is estimated that the work will cost far in excess of £300,000 and, with this in mind, the decision has been taken to address all the problems in one hit and to go for a comprehensive £500,000 project.
This will include the building of a new toilet block for pupils and staff, and the creation of a 21st Century reception classroom for children aged four and five with an outdoor space on an unused area of the playground.
The old classroom space will be used to improve learning for children with special needs and to provide a homely, comfortable room offering ‘wraparound’ childcare from 7.45am to 6pm.
It will also allow the existing kitchen to be extended. At present the kitchen staff are providing 180 hot lunches daily in an area that is too small for the job.
In addition, there is an urgent need for a radical overhaul of the existing drainage system in order to alleviate flooding in the playground and unpleasant odours emanating from within the building.
The proposal is also to redesign the central atrium to open up the corridor space between the school office and the classroom. The lean-to roof will be replaced and a dedicated first-aid area and caretaker’s room will be created.
It is a challenging but exciting project for newly-appointed headteacher Katy Pinchess, who said at the launch of the project: “Throughout the years there have been a number of incremental changes to the school buildings.
“However, these changes have not been enough and today there are rooms and facilities that are no longer fit for purpose.”
One of the major fundraising efforts to support the Big School Build fund is a draw to win a new Pepper White Mini Cooper three-door hatchback.
Amanda Sinclair, chairman of the building committee, said: “This is too good an opportunity to miss for someone to win a new car. The odds are fantastic, about one in 600 at present with a maximum of 1,000 tickets in the draw.”
She added: “All profits from the raffle are helping make our primary school even better by contributing to The Big School Build fundraising.”