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A £5.6 million school – which forms part of the Picket Twenty development in Andover – has opened its doors.

Pilgrim’s Cross C of E Primary School caters for children between the ages of four and 11 (Reception to Year 6) and made its debut in September. The Church of England Voluntary Aided primary school was implemented through collaboration between the Diocese of Winchester and Hampshire Local Authority.

The 210-place faith school was built to serve the ever increasing community on the new Picket Twenty housing estate, which includes 1,200 homes. Kier Construction was the main contractor on the project, whilst Hampshire County Council provided architectural services.

Planning permission was given for the school in October 2011, with work getting underway in July 2012. The school was handed over to the Governing Body on the 29th July 2013 ahead of its grand opening on the 9th September 2013.

The project was funded by Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services Capital programme and from developer contributions.

Discussing the project, Kier Construction Director, Martin Orr, said:

“Kier was delighted to play such an important role in the development of this up-and-coming community here in Andover. The Pilgrim’s Cross Primary School will be a valuable asset for the school children who are moving into the new home in Picket Twenty now, and in the future.”

Councillor Peter Edgar, added:

“I am looking forward to the opening of this new school which will provide pupils and staff with excellent teaching and learning facilities. It will also, I am sure, become an important focal point for the local community.”

Pilgrim’s Cross C of E Primary School comprises seven classrooms, a music and drama room, an art/food tech room, a multi-purpose hall and an orchard. The school was purpose built, in order to meet the highest standards and to serve the needs of the homes on the Picket Twenty development.

Synthetic Turf Management supplied and installed synthetic turf to Pilgrim’s Cross C of E Primary School. The company has vast experience within the education sector, having installed between 7,000 and 8,000 sq m of synthetic turf this year alone before September 2013.

Synthetic Turf Management Managing Director, Jon Bell, said:

“We specialise in multi-use games areas (MUGA) and safe place surfaces, focusing very prominently on projects within primary schools and nursery schools.

“We have a specific range of products, which is called Life, Learning in a Fun Environment and within those product ranges we have some very creative ideas, making it fun to learn outdoors.”

Jon added:

“At STM we don’t just install surfaces we look to improve creativity and literacy through our designs. This project was great for us to be involved in.”

Pilgrim’s Cross C of E Primary School was given its name after research around the local area uncovered evidence of a pilgrimage route. Planning documents noted that ‘a key landscape feature’ was The Harroway, ‘a track way with prehistoric origins’, which was in use by pilgrims thorough into Medieval times.

In May 2013, head teacher Amanda Johnston, The Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth, and representatives from Kier, Hampshire County Council and E&J Carpentry were present for a blessing and unveiling of a symbolic gold Canterbury Cross at the school. The Right Reverend Peter Hancock, the Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke was the guest of honour at the ceremony, which saw the cross – which is mounted on the exterior of the school – blessed.

For more information on Pilgrim’s Cross C of E Primary School, please visit: www.pilgrimscross.co.uk.

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