A planning application has been submitted this week for a complete remodelling of St Mary’s Primary School that retains the historic parts of the building while creating a modern learning environment.
The project, which has been designed by the Jersey Property Holdings architecture team, will involve an upgrade of all facilities, larger classrooms and new connecting corridors between the three listed blocks. There is currently a standalone house in the middle of the site and this will be incorporated into the school, adding extra space for education.
The oldest part of St Mary’s School dates to 1901. It has been enlarged gradually over a number of years, with additional rooms added in 1929 and in the 1950s.
Assistant Education Minister Deputy Anne Pryke said: “St Mary’s is a popular school but the building has evolved and it’s somewhat disjointed internally. The children and teachers need a coherent building that’s fit for a modern-day education and opens up new learning opportunities. This is a very important investment for the families of the parish.”
St Mary’s head teacher Maria Stegenwalner said: “This is a wonderful school that’s very much at the heart of the parish community but the buildings are long overdue for an upgrade. If you compare it to other country primary schools some of our facilities are outdated but this redesign will prepare us for our next 100 years.”
Infrastructure Minister Deputy Eddie Noel said: “This is an exciting project but a complex one and we have been careful to come up with a careful redesign that’s sensitive to the historic character of the building. When you drive past in future it will look practically the same but behind it will be a modern new school.”
St Mary Connètable Juliette Gallichan added: “I am excited about the opportunity to develop the existing services with The Kids Club and Silverstar. All parties are committed to working together for the benefit of our children.”
The construction will be in four phases over the next two years. Once the £6.5 million project is complete, the school will be able to open a new nursery class. Discussions have taken place with the Parish authorities and tenants of the community centre next door with a view to developing new services that could significantly improve the support for families.
The aim is to provide wraparound care for children before and after school as well as a nursery for younger children. In what would be the first scheme of its kind, the school would work closely with the nursery and play group to meet the wider childcare and education needs of families in the parish.