Potters Bar school breaks ground on new building project

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 June 2018

Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony with the old building in the background. Picture: DANNY LOO

Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony with the old building in the background. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

The diggers scooped their first clod of earth on Friday, June 15, as part of a Potter Bar school’s new building plans.

The old building at Dame Alice Owen which is being replaced with new classrooms. Picture: DANNY LOOThe old building at Dame Alice Owen which is being replaced with new classrooms. Picture: DANNY LOO

In hard hats and high-vis clothing, the headteacher of Dame Alice Owen’s School Hannah Nemko was joined by Year Nine pupils, chair of the governors Peter Martin, and Paul Wells, Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers to break ground on the new site.

At a cost of around £5million, the new building promises to be a “bright, airy environment” for the pupils to learn in, said Ms Nemko.

She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Our current teaching block is no longer truly fit for purpose.

“It is an asbestos-ridden block which, at the simplest of levels means that we are unable to pin up anything on the walls as you would in most schools in order to help students progress in their learning or to celebrate their work.

The old building at Dame Alice Owen which is being replaced with new classrooms. Picture: DANNY LOOThe old building at Dame Alice Owen which is being replaced with new classrooms. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It is freezing in the winter and students and staff are often in these rooms wearing their coats to stay warm yet boiling hot in the summer.

“Many of the windows are no longer safe to open; the pipework throughout the building is failing, leading to all sorts of plumbing problems.”

The school raised cash for the building through a bid to the government’s Condition Improvement Fund, added to the support of the Worshipful Company of Brewers, the school’s trustee.

Ms Nemko also read a letter from Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden, who could not attend but who had offered support in the school’s government funding application.

Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony. Picture: DANNY LOODame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony. Picture: DANNY LOO

She added: “The school, together with the governing body have worked tirelessly to ensure that the plans for the new block reflect our wish to create a bright, airy environment in which staff and students will be delighted to teach and learn.”

Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony. Picture: DANNY LOODame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony. Picture: DANNY LOO

Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony. Picture: DANNY LOODame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko officially starts the breaking ground ceremony. Picture: DANNY LOO

The breaking ground ceremony is started at Dame Alice Owen. Picture: DANNY LOOThe breaking ground ceremony is started at Dame Alice Owen. Picture: DANNY LOO

The breaking ground ceremony is started at Dame Alice Owen. Picture: DANNY LOOThe breaking ground ceremony is started at Dame Alice Owen. Picture: DANNY LOO

L-R Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers Paul Wells, Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko and Chairman of the governors Peter Martin officially start the breaking ground ceremony with the old building in the background. Picture: DANNY LOOL-R Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers Paul Wells, Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko and Chairman of the governors Peter Martin officially start the breaking ground ceremony with the old building in the background. Picture: DANNY LOO

L-R Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers Paul Wells, Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko and Chairman of the governors Peter Martin officially start the breaking ground ceremony with the old building in the background. Picture: DANNY LOOL-R Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers Paul Wells, Dame Alice Owen head Hannah Nemko and Chairman of the governors Peter Martin officially start the breaking ground ceremony with the old building in the background. Picture: DANNY LOO

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