GALLERY: Take a look inside the new Kenilworth School

By James Smith

4th Sep 2023 | Local News

The new Kenilworth School on Glasshouse Lane will open this week for the first time (image by James Smith)
The new Kenilworth School on Glasshouse Lane will open this week for the first time (image by James Smith)

The new £48 million Kenilworth School will welcome students for the first time this week.

Building work on the Glasshouse Lane school began in May 2021, with the keys handed over by contractor Morgan Sindall in July.

Since then Kenilworth Multi Academy Trust (KMAT) has been working hard to complete the move from the old Leyes Lane and Rouncil Lane buildings to the new school.

And the school held an official opening evening on Friday (September 1) for donors, members of the trust, councillors and parents.

Guests were taken through the 10-year process to get the new school built by KMAT CEO Haydon Abbott, and then taken on tours of the new school buildings.

Speaking on Friday, MP for Kenilworth and Southam Sir Jeremy Wright said: "There is an expression 'it takes a village to raise a child'. Well if that's true I'm sure it take a town to build a school, and this town has built this school.

"The contributions being made, not just by those in the school community, but by those in local government and dare I say it in national government as well - there are a very large number of people who deserve to be thanked.

"It is probably also worth noting what is unusual about Kenilworth School - both old and new - is that for a town this size it is the only secondary school. That makes the connection between school and town so much stronger.

"I know that for Haydon and for the new head teacher [Darren Nicholas], that will be a crucially important point, to keep that connection strong and make sure that the community doesn't just look at the splendid façade of this building, but actually gets to come onto the premises and share in the wonderful facilities that the young people of our town will benefit from.

"The school is so much more than the building."

The single-building school is designed with five wings with a "unique identity".

Between each wing is a courtyard which are intended to serve as "bespoke learning areas and pastoral retreats", providing students with an "environment that nurtures their mental well-being".

Football pitches, 3G pitches, tennis courts, a gym, sports hall and a dance studio have all also been built and will be available to hire from the community.

Bookings will be taken online and handled by the school rather than an external company.

Meanwhile the existing Leyes Lane and Rouncil Lane sites will eventually be turned into houses.

Speaking on Friday Mr Abbott added: "I am incredibly proud of the school.

"As Jeremy said, the school is more than just a building.

"But with this fabulous resource, not only will it be a huge benefit to the children, but also for the community.

"Hopefully everyone in the community will be proud of the school and what we have created here."

The school was also quick to thank the various donors who have helped pay for the "extras" to enhance the building, including seating in the theatre and kitting out the learning resource centre.

A board thanking all the donors has been installed in the reception area.

And the learning resource centre has been named after the William Edwards Educational Charity which donated £250,000 to the project.

Having worked on the designs and delivery of the school over the course of several years, Glancy Nicholls Architects (GNA) has also said it is "honoured" to have played a role in bringing the project to life.

"This extraordinary structure stands as one of the most significant buildings in Kenilworth's history, presenting a civic frontage with an imposing colonnade," the Birmingham-based firm said.

"Its grandeur reflects the school's profound importance to the community, making a powerful statement about the value of education.

"Beyond its educational function, the school also offers an array of community facilities, including state-of-the-art sports facilities, a spacious hall, and inviting dining areas.

"These amenities serve as gathering spaces that bring people together, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie not only within the school but the local community."

     

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