VIDEO: Selsey Academy starts to rebuild after catastrophic fire

Almost exactly a month after the devastating fire, The Academy, Selsey is rising from the ashes.

Thursday, 22nd September 2016, 5:51 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:26 am
Head teacher Tom Garfield is delighted to see the temporary school village starting to be built. Kate Shemil ks16000968-1 SUS-160920-170046008

The construction of a ‘temporary teaching village’ began this week, just metres from where the skeleton of the old school still stands.

The impressive new facility – complete with classrooms, library, IT and science suites – will be ready to welcome all 400 pupils back to school on the first day after half-term.

Standing on the site as cranes mounted on lorries lifted the first units into place on Tuesday morning, head teacher Tom Garfield said: “Seeing the first buildings of the temporary village take shape, a month or 21 working days after the fire is really significant.

Head teacher Tom Garfield is delighted to see the temporary school village starting to be built. Kate Shemil ks16000968-1 SUS-160920-170046008

“What it shows us and the young people in the community is there is real progress being made to having purpose-built classrooms on site and ready to support their learning.

“This will be ready to open 44 working days after the fire.

“For us that’s incredible, to get the pupils back into a normal school is the most important thing.

“They will have everything we need for classrooms, there will be specialist facilities for science, food technology, we’ll have a school hall, catering, a proper library.

Some of the 400 pupils have already returned to the school, and classes are carrying on as normal.ks16000968-5 SUS-160922-162512001

“All of the things you’d expect to find in a school will be in the village.”

Some of the pupils are already back at the school, being taught in temporary huts, while the others are at locations around the town including Selsey Town Hall and Bunn Leisure, and continuing to be taught as normal, Mr Garfield said.

He said all of the pupils’ computer work had been saved because it was uploaded to a cloud service, though physical art work has been destroyed.

Mr Garfield reiterated that a new permanent school will be built in the future, and said clearing the burnt-out shell of the former buildings would take place in October.

The temporary school will be up and running just 44 working days after the massive fire gutted the school. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

He thanked the whole Selsey community for their ‘amazing support’.

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