Chichester school plans exciting transformation

Prebendal School Bursar Kerry Lanning with pupils.  By Clare Hawkin
Prebendal School Bursar Kerry Lanning with pupils. By Clare Hawkin

Exciting times are just around the corner for Chichester’s Prebendal School after announcing it will be expanding its West Street base and taking over a neighbouring property to bring the whole school on to one site.

The project is being led by bursar Kerry Lanning and headmaster Tim Cannell and will involve expanding into 55 West Street which has now been vacated and moving Pre-prep from North Street. Once completed it will be the first time since the school has had a Pre-prep department that the two schools will be together in one place.

Mrs Lanning said: “Since we own next door we thought it would be quite daft not to use it. It also leaves us space around the rest of the school to expand if we wish to.

“We want to utilise the buildings we have and leave ourselves scope to do other things in future and it will be good to get everyone in one place.”

The scheme includes more classrooms, a spacious art department, a language lab and dedicated rooms for learning support and PSHE.

There will also be new play facilities and office space for senior staff. Siblings will be on one site and dropping off and collecting children will be easier for parents thanks to the new parking arrangements.

Mr Cannell said: “We consider this development to be exceptionally exciting and a great milestone in the history of Prebendal.

“It will also enable us to plan for further developments to the school’s facilities in future, particularly in the areas of music and sport. Prebendal School is a friendly and thriving community and we always welcome people to come and look round to see what we have on offer.”

Work to convert the building is due to start on April 2, with other conversion works beginning in summer. Some facilities will be ready to use by the middle of next term, but the Pre-prep department will not be ready until the start of the next academic year.

At the moment the Pre-prep department is based over three floors, and Mrs Lanning said it made sense for the department to be on one floor.

“Parents have been very positive,” said Mrs Lanning. “I think they are really pleased to see the school moving ahead with things.

“While it is steeped in history and we are very firmly rooted in our ethos and history, we still need to show a little bit of progress and progress of this nature can’t be anything but positive.”