Independent school Abbey Gate College Infant and Junior School recently welcomed the Duke of Westminster to mark the start of construction of their new Foundation and Infant class building.
The co-educational school, based in the village of Aldford just outside Chester, prides itself on small class sizes and providing the best quality of education. The Duke of Westminster was accompanied by Trustees of the Grosvenor Estate and members of the Eaton Estate staff who will be working with the College to bring this exciting project to fruition in the coming months. The Head mistress of the Infant and Junior School, Mrs Marie Hickey, was presented with an engraved spade by the Duke of Westminster to mark the special occasion.
The new building will provide three spacious classrooms, two with covered outdoor areas as well as a larger library and space for learning enrichment and pastoral care. The development will also mean space in the main building is created to expand on current facilities such as a dedicated art and design studio, music area, science lab and a more expansive library space.
The Duke of Westminster said: “This has been a project close to my heart and we have spent a lot of time developing a plan which is suitable for the children and the teachers but which will also stand the test of time.
“The school is at the centre of the community in Aldford and it’s important we continue to build on what we have and invest in the current and future generations. It’s an exciting time in the village with the development of the school and the village shop and I look forward to seeing the project complete.”
The development will be made with welsh blue slate, Oak from the Eaton Estate and artisan brick from a local manufacturer, to help ensure it is in keeping with the character and heritage of the village. The new building will exceed minimum building regulations and has been designed to minimise heat loss and be energy efficient.
Marie Hickey, Headteacher, said: “We are committed to showing our children have every opportunity to reach their potential, have new experiences and most importantly become responsible adults who take their place in society. This building will provide us with the platform to take learning from the classroom into the outdoors to contribute to the children’s learning and enhance the experiences we already provide in our existing building.”