Work completes on new Thornhill Primary School building

• Thornhill Primary School have been handed the keys to their new state-of-the-art teaching block, paving the way for pupils to start lessons in the building from the new term in September. 


The new block, built as part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s New School Places Programme, will see the Houghton Regis school increase its capacity from 210 pupils to 630. This will mean Thornhill Primary can meet the future demand for new school places forecast with the emerging housing growth of Houghton Regis North 1 and 2 (the Linmere Development). 


From September, when the new academic year begins, the teaching block will accommodate junior school year groups 2 to 6 up to a capacity of 450 pupils, while the existing school building will accommodate infant school year groups from nursery to year 1, with a total capacity of 180 pupils. There is also a nursery for 2–4-year-olds on the current site.

Peter McGann (Ashe), Bernice Waite (Headteacher Thornhill) and Chris Gunning (Deputy Head) 

Cllr Sue Clark, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said: “We’re delighted that Thornhill Primary will be able to welcome pupils into this brand-new building once they return from their summer holidays in September. Our New School Places programme is about creating additional places in areas of demand like Houghton Regis, so that more children can go to a good local school on their doorstep. I’m sure pupils and staff will look forward to using the new facilities.”


Claire Bryan, Co-Chair of Thornhill Primary School Governors said: "We cannot wait to open up this outstanding space for students at Thornhill in September. Its forward-thinking design will allow us immeasurable opportunities for furthering the children’s awareness around environmental innovations, enriching their educational aspirations and providing boundless benefits to our growing community for future generations.”


The new teaching block for the school is the first in Central Bedfordshire that will be built to the highest sustainable standards using Passivhaus criteria to deliver a super energy-efficient building.


Arranged around a central playground, overlooked by circulation spaces and a new access deck, a deck wraps the entire two storey section of the building, providing valuable breakout space for smaller group learning, connecting teaching with the outside and the surrounding context.


At the heart of the school is a double height entrance atrium and split-level library, adjacent to the new sports/ dining hall, centralising the facilities, promoting active learning within a centralised hub. 


Andrew Morris, Ashe Construction Business Development Director, said: “We are delighted to have completed this ground-breaking project, delivering an outstanding educational facility that has achieved the very highest of sustainability credentials, and has been recognised by the Passivhaus institute as a fully certified building.”