Horsham special needs school’s expansion work due to begin

The contract for a £1.57m expansion at a special needs school in Horsham has been awarded by West Sussex County Council.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 9:52 am
QEII school, Horsham
QEII school, Horsham

Brighton-based Axio (Special Works) Ltd won a tender process to install a three-classroom modular block at Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School in Comptons Lane.

Building work is expected to start this summer with the new classrooms ready for use in October.

The project looks likely to cost more than was originally planned – a budget of only £1.4m was approved in July 2020.

Construction will cost £1.24m, with around £186,000 in fees and a £143,000 contingency.

A report from Philippa Hind, acting head of development, said the cost would be ‘continually monitored and saving made where possible’.

The report pointed out that if this was not possible, there was enough money in the capital programme to cover an increase.

Planning permission for the block – which will stand on land currently used as a playing field by the Forest School – was granted in May.

The school caters for children aged two to 19 with severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties or complex needs.

Over recent years, its numbers have gone up, from 85 in 2017 to 105 in 2019.

Headteacher Helen Elphick said: “We are excited to hopefully have the work start on our building in July with the planned opening to be at the end of October,  Covid guidelines allowing.

“With the school continuing to grow, the new block will give us much-needed classrooms and learning spaces to support the needs of our pupils.”