The rapid progress being made to rebuild Woodlands Meed College was celebrated at a special ground-breaking event at the Burgess Hill special school.
The footprint of the brand-new facilities is emerging and on Friday, 13 May 2022, college pupils, teachers and governors joined West Sussex County Council leader Paul Marshall, Cabinet Member for Learning & Skills Nigel Jupp and other Council representatives, along with Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies, contractor ISG, architect Haverstock and other invited guests, to mark the milestone.
West Sussex County Council has allocated £21.6million to a major project to rebuild Woodlands Meed College.
The new facilities will significantly improve facilities for pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at the Burgess Hill college.
Independent surveys carried out last year showed that the current buildings are safe, but the facilities need to be upgraded and more space is required for the college’s 100 pupils.
Planning permission has been granted to create the new building on the college playing field. The County Council has worked with an architect with extensive experience of designing SEND schools to design a new building which will:
include 12 new classrooms and specialist areas for design and technology, music, science and food technology
meet all the required school building regulations (known as BB104)
provide students with significantly more internal space
include high quality sporting facilities including all weather pitches, and a 2-court sports hall and accessible changing facilities
include a new dining hall and kitchen, a common room and a range of therapy spaces along with personal care facilities, staff offices and welfare areas
have a new hydrotherapy pool
have a host of new outside learning and play areas including classrooms, an outside gym, planting areas, and courtyard and amphitheatre space
be more suitable for pupils who have mobility issues
have optimum comfort levels for students and staff, the design carefully considered around ventilation, cooling and heating systems
have solar panels on the roof making the facilities energy efficient and reduce energy costs for the college.
Great care has been taken to ensure the building work will create minimum disruption for students of Woodlands Meed, who will continue to learn on the site, and students at the neighbouring Birchwood Grove Primary School.
West Sussex County Council has been in discussion with the College over many months to incorporate many of the College’s requirements into its final plan.
Families have been informed about the latest proposals at two virtual engagement events this week (November 2 and 3, 2021)
You can see the exciting plans in our presentation and short video below: