Staff, governors, and council members joined the project team on site recently to mark the official opening of new kitchen facilities at Bucklesham Primary School. Works on the new kitchen building, designed by Concertus Design and Property Consultants and built by Mixbrow Construction, started in August 2022 with the demolition of the old facilities taking place in December.
Suffolk County Council deemed the existing standalone kitchen facility, was no longer practical to use. The council’s aim was to improve health and safety, the standard of the kitchen facilities, working conditions for the kitchen staff, and overall efficiency of the school. Following the removal and strip out of an existing oil-fired boiler and introduction of a new plant room as part of the new kitchen building, a new heating system was incorporated to serve the whole school site.
Rachael Rudge, Headteacher at the school, said: “The old kitchen building was part of the original school built in the 1800’s so we have welcomed the idea of a new kitchen for many years now. It has made such a difference to the staff and children at Bucklesham Primary School, and we are grateful to Suffolk County Council for their support with this project”.
Where the existing kitchen facilities were located in a standalone building at the other side of the school, the new kitchen building is now physically linked to the school hall. This provides many new benefits, including improving the functionality of the school and eliminating the need to go outside to transport food and equipment. A further benefit of the relocation is that the school hall is available longer for curriculum use and acts as a flexible space for the 105 students that currently attend the school.
Charles Coulson, Associate Director at Concertus, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to celebrate this milestone with an official opening, not only the school, but the local community too. We are pleased to have once again worked on behalf of Suffolk County Council and in collaboration with Mixbrow Construction and we are exceptionally proud of the delivery of this scheme”.
Doug Jaye, Contracts Director at Mixbrow Construction, said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen to deliver the much-needed upgrade to the school’s kitchen facilities; ensuring children have access to quality meals is key to their development and we enjoyed showing some of them round during the construction. We are also pleased to have our local suppliers and sub-contractors work with us to bring the project to life”.
The area in which the old school kitchen was located has been returned to asphalt, increasing the external play area available to the children. Incorporating new planting beds has also enhanced the aesthetics at the front of the school.