North Yorkshire County Council is developing the former Royal Navy establishment as a community special school for boys with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties, which will be known as Foremost School – a name chosen by the students.
The site will contain specialist provision for science, art, food technology, design technology and music/drama, and a library, forty single pupil bedrooms, dining and assembly rooms and a four-court sports hall.
Foremost School will generally serve the county to the west of the A1 road, and will complement the county council’s other provision for BESD at the residential special school of Brompton Hall, near Scarborough and the pupil referral service in Harrogate and Skipton.
Last week pupils and staff met representatives from the contractors, ISG, the design consultants, Jacobs, and toured the site.
Also present were two senior non commissioned officers in the Royal Engineers who are acting as clerks of works on the project. They are coming to the end of a two year engineering degree course at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham, Kent and this is the next professional step in their qualifications in Electrical and Mechanical Building Services Engineering.
The electrical engineering student is Sgt Kishan Gurung and the mechanical engineering student is Sgt Rhys (Taff) Browne. They are looking forward to working in North Yorkshire with Jacobs, NYCC and ISG.
County Councillor John Watson OBE, Executive Member for Schools said, “The new facilities at Foremost School will improve significantly the quality of teaching and residential accommodation available for students, as well as being closer to the majority of children’s homes.”
Chair of Governors of Baliol School, Mrs Eileen Visser said: “We are all looking forward to the completion of this exciting project to provide the best education and care that can be offered to the students. It will enable us to provide an innovative curriculum and a range of opportunities to meet the individual needs of the students, working in partnership with the community.’
Jacobs Project Manager, Graham Nicol said: “The whole Project Team have invested a huge amount of effort into the project to get it to this stage. It is exciting to see it progressing well on site and we look forward to handing over a facility that all involved can be proud of”
The school is expected to transfer to the new site at the end of the year.