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Grace Cook Primary School reaches key milestone

Progress in the construction of Stowmarket’s newest primary school has been celebrated with a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony, with the building now reaching its highest point.

Representatives from Orwell Multi-Academy trust (OMAT), Suffolk County Council, designers Concertus and builders R G Carter were joined by local Councillors to mark the major development milestone at what is set to become Grace Cook Primary School and Nursery, in the town’s Northfield View development.

The school, which has been named after pioneering local Astronomer Alice Grace Cook, will accommodate 210 primary school pupils and a further 60 pre-school pupils in new, state-of the-art education facilities when it welcomes its first pupils in September next year.

R G Carter has reached a new milestone with the progression of Grace Cook Primary School.
R G Carter has reached a new milestone with the progression of Grace Cook Primary School.

James Wilson, Director and General Manager at R G Carter said: “We are delighted to be working on this project and pleased to be celebrating such a key moment in the development of this brilliant community building. Grace Cook Primary School and Nursery is going to be a fantastic facility for the people of Stowmarket and will support the town’s growing population for many years to come.”

Construction of the school is being funded through Suffolk County Council’s capital programme and will be run by OMAT.

Anna Hennell James, CEO of OMAT, said: “It has been wonderful to watch the building grow so quickly over recent months and Grace Cook Primary School is a step closer to being ready to open in September 2022”.

Grace Cook Primary School (53799699)
Grace Cook Primary School (53799699)

Rachel Hood, Cabinet member for Education, SEND and skills, said: “It’s really inspiring to be able to see this new school and nursery take shape. This school will make such a positive impact for local children and families.”

Charles Coulson, Associate Director from designers and project managers Concertus said: “The new Grace Cook Primary and Pre-School will provide a modern, fit for purpose learning environment for local children, as well as helping to ease pressure on local schools due to the expansion of housing in the area. Our design is focused on representing the school’s surroundings within the colour choices and fabric of the building and creating a central community hub which will be both unique and aesthetically pleasing.”

With below-ground masonry work now complete and the school’s ground floor concrete slab poured, above-ground works are continuing to make the structure watertight.