Work starts on new £9.5m building for Mill Water School

Chairman of Devon County Council, Bernard Hughes, digs the first turf helped by student Liam. With t

Chairman of Devon County Council, Bernard Hughes, digs the first turf helped by student Liam. With them are (back row L-R, chair of governors, Roy Williams, David Henley and Alan Sheppard with students Sam, Annabelle and Alexander. - Credit: Archant

Turf cut at official ceremony which marked the start of the build.

Work has got underway on the construction of a new £9.5million state-of -the-art building for Mill Water School.

The Devon County Council (DCC) run school is being built on a site at Bicton College in a new partnership between the two bodies.

The 100-pupil school, which teaches children with learning difficulties, already has close ties with the further education college where some of its older students already take courses.

Now the county council and the college are developing closer links which will benefit both sets of students.

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Both schools will continue to run independently but will benefit through the development of a new shared sports hall.

The chairman of DCC, Bernard Hughes, officially cut the first turf for the new school on Friday.

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Mill Water’s headteacher Alan Sheppard said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to develop an even more specialised curriculum for our students.

“We will have twice the space we have now which will allow us to cater fully for their special needs.

“We are determined to make this a centre of excellence for special needs for the region.”

Bicton principal David Henley said: “We are delighted that we can assist the school with a new location.

“We are very lucky at Bicton College to have over 200 hectares of open parkland and we are also not too far from Honiton for students and staff to relocate.

“We look forward to welcoming the Mill Water staff and students on site and helping them secure a happy future here.”

Devon’s cabinet member for schools, Will Mumford, added: “Mill Water caters for some of our most vulnerable students. It is important that we give them the best possible start in life.

“This new, state of the art building will in future ensure that they have the best possible accommodation and facilities to go along with the quality teaching and dedicated staff that they already enjoy.”

“I am delighted that, after the difficulties we have had with previous sites, we have been able to enter this exciting partnership with Bicton College which I am sure will develop successfully in the future.”

The single-storey school is being built to the highest environmental standards and will be ready for occupation in autumn 2014.

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